Former MetroStars coach Alfonso Mondelo is MLS's new Director of Player Development and head coach of the U.S. Pro-40, the MLS development team that competes in the A-League. In addition to guiding the Project-40 players through the 2000 A-League season, Mondelo, 41, will serve as director of player development and will pilot the scouting program for the 12 MLS clubs, including college, youth and the loaning and replacement of players between MLS and the USL teams. Mondelo, the third coach of U.S. Pro-40, has been involved in professional and youth coaching since 1981. "Major League Soccer has continued to emphasize the importance of developing America's top young talent through the Project-40 program," Mondelo said. "I am looking forward to the challenge of guiding these players to become MLS's rising professionals." The Spanish native has spent most of his career working in the New York area. He was the head coach of the A-League's Long Island Rough Riders for four years before becoming the head coach of the MetroStars in 1998. He was fired with one game left in the regular season, even though the Metros had clinched a playoff berth. At the time Bora Milutinovic took over, they were 14-17. Mondelo most recently has worked in U.S. Soccer's youth development program. Also hired by MLS was Nelson Rodriguez as Director of Player Personnel. Rodriguez will work on labor issues, including scouting, player negotiations and input on competition concerns. Rodriguez previously worked for the MetroStars and served as the men's head coach at Division I Lafayette College.
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