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Red Bull youth director fired after two weeks
by Mike Woitalla, May 24th, 2007 7AM

TAGS:  mls, youth boys

The New York Red Bulls have discovered that the man they hired to be its youth director two weeks ago had previously been fired by the club when it was known as the MetroStars. Upon the discovery, the Red Bulls fired Armen Simoniants, who also misrepresented his role with the MetroStars on his resume, according to reports in the Herald News and The Herald News made the Red Bulls aware of Simoniants' resume discrepancies. The Red Bulls' youth program had been hailed as a model for fellow MLS clubs when the league launched its Youth Development Initiative this season, but in March the Red Bulls dismissed youth director Giovanni Savarese with no explanation beyond stating it was replacing him to move into a new direction.

Upon the appointment of Simoniants, who hails from the former Soviet Union and began coaching in the USA in the early 1990s, Red Bulls technical director Jeff Agoos told Soccer America that "we felt Armen's qualifications are very good and we are very excited about having him to lead our academy. ... I think he brings a plethora of different backgrounds into the mix." Regarding the dismissal of Simoniants two weeks later, a Red Bulls spokesman stated that Simoniants "is no longer employed by Red Bull New York. Other than that, we cannot comment any further."

Ives Galarcep of the Herald News reported that Simoniants claimed he was the head coach of the MetroStars reserve team in 2000-2003 even though he did not hold that position. The Herald News also reported that Simoniants had been fired as an assistant coach of the reserve team "after allegedly attempting to undermine coaches above him in the team's player development system."

The Herald News quoted an internal club memo from 2004 that read:

"Armen Simoniants has a good knowledge of the game and is able to conduct influential coaching sessions. However, his ability to identify talent is questionable. Armen has also proved to be very irresponsible, continually failing to communicate important information at key times. Armen has been unable to accept his role as the assistant coach of the MetroStars Reserve Team and has intentionally created an internal strife in the hopes of self-promotion."

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