Kansas City Wizards GM Doug Newman has announced that Bob Gansler will be named head coach of the Wizards. Gansler will replace Ken Fogarty, who stepped in as interim head coach after former Head Coach Ron Newman's resignation on April 14.
"Bob Gansler brings a wealth of experience to our organization," said Newman. "He has played and coached at every level of the game in this country, and there is no doubt in my mind that he will instill the confidence our team needs to be successful."
Gansler was the head coach for the A-League's Milwaukee Rampage from 1996-98, where he led his team to the A-League Championship in 1997. He is best known, however, for leading the United States national team to an improbable birth in the 1990 World Cup; the first time the U.S. had qualified in 40 years. Current Wizards players Tony Meola and Chris Henderson played under Gansler at the '90 World Cup. He coached the U.S. team for just over two years (January, 1989 to February, 1991).
Following his duties with the National Team, Gansler was named Director of Coaching and Player Development for the United States Soccer Federation in 1991, a position he held until February, 1995. Gansler's main responsibilities included coaching education and the player identification process for U.S. national teams. He was also responsible for overseeing national teams, coaching schools and regional and state soccer programs. In May of 1995, Gansler took over the Director of Coaching position for the Idaho State Soccer Association, a position he held until joining the Rampage on March 4, 1996.
Gansler has an extensive history of coaching at many levels. He was the head coach of the U.S. U-20 national team from November, 1987 to March, 1989. That team compiled the best ever U.S. performance by a youth national team, finishing in fourth place in the Youth World Championship held in Saudi Arabia. He was also the coach for the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee from 1984-1988. In 1981, Gansler led the U.S. U-19 national team (a team he coached from 1979-1982) to its first ever birth in the World Youth Championship.
"Since Ron Newman's resignation, Doug Newman and I have interviewed six coaches from both the college and professional ranks, including Wizards coaches Ken Fogarty and Guy Newman," Kansas City Investor-Operator Clark Hunt said. "We came to the conclusion that Bob Gansler is the right person for the job."
Gansler has not only been involved with soccer on the coaching level, he made 25 appearances for the U.S. (including the Olympic Team) in his playing days. He was captain of the 1964 and 1968 U.S. Olympic teams, was a member of the 1963 and captain of the 1967 U.S. Pan American Games team, and was a member of the full U.S. team from 1968-69.
"Coaching in Major League Soccer is the ultimate challenge in the game right now," Gansler said. "Why do mountain climbers climb? For the challenge. I am excited and blessed as a coach to take this challenge on."
Gansler arrived in Kansas City from Milwaukee last night and observed today's 1-0 loss to the Columbus Crew at Arrowhead Stadium. He will take over head coaching duties tomorrow.
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