Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
American coach Dan Gaspar heads to third World Cup as Iran books Russia tickets
by Mike Woitalla, June 13th, 2017 5:55PM
Subscribe to Soccer World Daily

MOST READ
TAGS:  iran, portugal, world cup 2018

MOST COMMENTED

By Mike Woitalla
@
MikeWoitalla

Iran clinching a spot at the 2018 World Cup means American coach Dan Gaspar is heading to his third World Cup. Gaspar has for the last six years served as Iran’s goalkeeper coach and assistant to its Portuguese head coach, Carlos Queiroz.

Iran’s qualifying for Russia marks the first time Team Melli has reached back-to-back World Cups.


Carlos Queiroz (left) and Dan Gaspar. (Photo courtesy Dan Gaspar)

“It has been amazing coaching Iran to two consecutive World Cups,” says Gaspar. “Over the past six years, we have seen the positive impact of our implementing our methods and system. That’s very rewarding. We have been fortunate to have been allowed the time to make a difference, which often times coaches not have.”

Gaspar, a Connecticut native who played goalkeeper at the University of Hartford in the 1970s and served as its head coach in 2005-2010, assisted Queiroz with the MLS’s MetroStars in 1996.

He also served as Portugal’s goalkeeper coach under Queiroz at the 2010 World Cup and joined Queiroz’s staff with Iran for its successful qualifying campaign for the 2014 World Cup.

“I live in Tehran and visit my family periodically,” he says. “That's the sacrifice my family has made to support my career and dreams. Living in Tehran gave me the opportunity to appreciate their fascinating culture and live among its proud people. I have grown to admire both. I've been treated with the utmost respect.”

On Monday, Iran beat Uzbekistan, 2-0, to clinch first-place in Asia Group A, with two games to spare, and a spot at Russia 2018. Team Melli became the second team to book a ticket for the 2018 World Cup after Brazil, joining host Russia in what will be a 32-team tournament.

Iran conceded only two goals in its eight games (six wins, two ties) in Group A qualifying play.

“Iran goalkeepers have strong qualities,” Gaspar says. “They are humble and hungry to grow and learn. Sound technically and athletically gifted. Great work ethic and brave.

“As with most goalkeepers at the highest levels, processing decisions, handling crosses effectively and positive distribution are areas we need to focus on. Since we have taken on this interesting project, we have had several goalkeepers who have been identified and are now performing overseas. That has never happened in the past. I believe that is a good sign that Iranian goalkeepers are earning respect internationally.”


Iran goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand and Dan Gaspar. (Photo courtesy Dan Gaspar)

Iran also qualified in 2006, 1998 (when it beat the USA, 2-1), and 1978 (with a team that included current Dallas Texans' coaching director Hassan Nazari, and future New York Cosmos defender Andranik Eskandarian, whose son Alecko played on D.C. United’s 2004 MLS championship team).

At the 2014 World Cup, Iran exited in the first round but held Argentina scoreless until Lionel Messi connected in the first minute of stoppage time -- between a 0-0 tie with Nigeria and 3-1 loss to Bosnia & Herzegovina.

“I have enormous gratitude and admiration for the Team Melli players,” Gaspar says. “Despite the many obstacles, they have played with courage, determination and love for their people.

“We create a team spirit where everyone is important within our group. We truly live the philosophy ‘team above individual.’ We focus on the process rather than the success. We believe the results will come. ... We pay extreme attention to detail. Coach Queiroz sees things that no one else does.

“The passionate Iranian soccer fans both domestically and internationally offered us unbelievable support during the entire journey.”

In addition to Gaspar's coaching in the USA, including as head coach of the USL’s Connecticut Wolves, he’s coached in Japan, South Africa and Portugal, with FC Porto and youth national teams in the early 1990s.

Any difference in coaching Iranian players compared to his other experiences?

“Coaching U.S. players, it's normal in their environment to challenge the coach as to ‘Why?’” he says. “The Iranian players execute what the coach demands.

“But soccer is soccer. I've been blessed to have worked on four different continents. Training players from different cultures has its uniqueness, but at the end of the day all players at the highest levels are hungry to succeed.”



3 comments
  1. Carlos Rocha
    commented on: June 13, 2017 at 7:34 p.m.
    Good stuff Dan, congrats!
  1. Nick Daverese
    commented on: June 14, 2017 at 7:41 a.m.
    That was interesting. I forgot Carlos was their manager. Remember when he wrote how the US was going to win the WC by 2010? I wonder when he will write another on when Iran will win WC. I could be wrong on this, but I don't ever remember Carlos smiling after a Metro star game even after a win.
  1. Nick Daverese
    commented on: June 15, 2017 at 12:05 a.m.
    Well they certainly broaden their horizons working in Iran. I also see they beat Uzbekistan 2-0. I used to work in Uzbekistan years ago. Non football related their army basically runs the country. When we went out we had the army to protect us. I took my teenage son at that time he is 46 now with me on a trip. I told him to behave I wanted him to see their holy city Samarkand it is a wonder of the world.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Off The Post
Bayern goal points out how VAR can increase scoring    
The era of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) in the Bundesliga started Friday with the system ...
What will become of Julian Green?     
Eleven players who were raised in Germany played for the U.S. national team during the Jurgen ...
Pulisic becoming ever more important for Borussia Dortmund     
The trajectory of Christian Pulisic's career has been unprecedented for a young American - and impressive ...
Abundance of U.S. stadium options evident on World Cup 2026 initial list     
The announcement that the United Bid Committee will target 37 stadiums in 34 U.S. markets for ...
Ronaldo five-game ban overshadows strong Real Madrid performance    
The first official Clasico of 2017-18 did not go well for Cristiano Ronaldo. He was on ...
Quiet summer, Costa controversy cast clouds over Chelsea    
As the Premier League kicks off its 26th season of spectacle and spending, is the champion ...
Soccer, luck and VAR    
Recently I started reading a book "The Numbers Game." The authors of the book are academicians. ...
Rafa Marquez, from Designated Player to Specially Designated National    
Mexican national team captain Rafael Marquez has gone from former Designated Player in MLS to Specially ...
Transfer fees to make your head spin, beyond Neymar     
That $260 million Paris Saint-Germain paid Barcelona for Neymar will continue to boggle the mind, but ...
Dutch women win over a nation    
That the host Netherlands won Euro 2017 was not necessarily a surprise -- the favorites Germany ...
>> Off The Post Archives