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Mexican-American named Bayern Munich assistant coach
by Mike Woitalla, January 31st, 2008 6:45AM

TAGS:  germany, mls


Bild, Germany's largest circulation daily, headlined the news, "Ami coach will be Klinsmann's Super Assi" when it reported that Chivas USA assistant coach Martin Vasquez will be Bayern Munich's assistant coach when Juergen Klinsmann takes over in July. Vasquez, who played for both his native Mexico and the USA, had a long pro playing on both sides of the border before becoming an assistant coach in the WUSA and MLS.

"I met Martin in 2003 when he was coaching an elite soccer camp in the USA," Klinsmann was quoted as saying on Bayern's official Web site. "I was impressed by his positive leadership style and recommended him to the Los Angeles Galaxy. He could have accepted a head coaching position in the MLS, but I'm delighted he's chosen instead to join me as my assistant at Bayern."

Klinsmann described Vasquez as a "constant driving force, with great passion and commitment to his players." Klinsmann added that Vasquez has started taking German lessons.

Vasquez was Sigi Schmid's assistant coach for the Los Angeles Galaxy, whom Klinsmann served as technical advisor. Vasquez was then Galaxy assistant coach under Steve Sampson before joining Chivas USA in its inaugural 2005 season.

At Chivas USA, Vasquez was assistant coach to Thomas Rongen, Han Westerhof, Bob Bradley and Preki.

Vasquez was born in Yahualica, Mexico, on Christmas Eve 1963 -- "My mother is the only person who ever gives me two presents" -- and moved to Southern California at age 12.

He played college ball at Cal State Los Angeles, then played indoor soccer before nearly a decade in the Mexican First Division. He played for Mexico 10 times, but because they were friendly games, was eligible to play for the USA.

After gaining citizenship in 1996, he earned seven U.S. caps, including an appearance in a 0-0 tie with Mexico at Azteca Stadium in qualifying play for the 1998 World Cup.

After two seasons with Tampa Bay and one with San Jose, he retired and coached youth, high school, college ball and was assistant coach for the Women's United Soccer Association's San Diego Spirit before moving to MLS.

"I thought I was going to play forever," Vasquez said. "But late in my career. I started thinking about coaching. Not pros, but youth soccer, because I wanted to give back to the game that gave me so much."

Before becoming assistant coach to Carlos Juarez at the WUSA's San Diego Spirit in 2001, Martin Vasquez was the assistant coach under Juarez with the Cal Poly Pomona men's and women's programs for two years.

In addition to Cal Poly Pomona, Vasquez has also coached the Damien High School boy's team, located in La Verne, Calif., for two seasons, winning league titles both years.

After his stint with the Spirit, Vasquez was assistant coach at MLS's Los Angeles Galaxy (2004) and Chivas USA (2005-07).

Vasquez, 44, began his professional outdoor career playing two seasons with the Hollywood Kickers and California Kickers of the WSL. He moved to Mexico, where his first three years (1987-89) were spent with Universidad de Guadalajara.

In 1990-91, he played with Puebla before moving to Veracruz for one season. Vasquez's last four seasons in the Mexican First Division were spent with Atlas. In all, he played eight seasons in Mexico, playing over 300 league games for four clubs.

His play in the Mexican First Division led to 10 appearances with the Mexican national team at the end of 1993 and beginning of 1994.

Vasquez also played for the United States in 1996-97, realizing his dream on Dec. 21, 1996, when he started at sweeper for the United States in a 2-2 tie with Guatemala in a CONCACAF World Cup qualifier in San Salvador, El Salvador.

He also played for the USA in a 0-0 tie against Mexico in Azteca Stadium in a qualifier for the 1998 World Cup.

In two years, he played and started in seven matches for the U.S. national team.

During his MLS career ('96-98), he played for the Tampa Bay and San Jose. He was one of the top defensive midfielders in the league while with Tampa Bay, helping the Mutiny to the playoffs in '96 and '97.

His performance during the '96 season earned him a spot in the '96 MLS All-Star Game.

Prior to going to Mexico, Vasquez played two seasons indoors with the Los Angeles Lazers of the MISL in 1984-85 and with the Memphis Storm of the AISA in '85-86.

Vasquez played three years at Cal State-Los Angeles, leading the NCAA Division II in scoring as a freshman with 29 goals in 23 matches. He was named a Division II All-Americana that year. As a sophomore, he led the league in scoring with 20 goals and 17 assists.


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