MLS: Perry Van Der Beck takes over Tampa Bay Mutiny

Perry Van Der Beck, an assistant for the last three seasons for the Tampa Bay Mutiny, was named the fifth head coach in team history, president and general manager Bill Manning announced. Van Der Beck, 41, will lead the Mutiny through the remainder of the team's 11-game 2001 season, with an option to manage the squad next year. Van Der Beck succeeds Alfonso Mondelo, who resigned July 5. "It is a logical choice for us to hand over the head coaching responsibility to Perry," Manning said. "He's paid his dues as an assistant coach and knows the league well. Perry also was the embodiment of a leader as a player and I think that will transfer into his coaching as well. We are confident the Tampa Bay community will find this a popular choice." Van Der Beck brings playing and coaching experience at the professional and national team levels to the Mutiny. A former standout midfielder with the Tampa Bay Rowdies and the U.S. national team, Van Der Beck was in his third full season as a Mutiny assistant, and receives his first opportunity as a head coach at the MLS level. The native of St. Louis, Mo., served in a head-coaching capacity on the professional level once before, guiding the Tampa Bay Terror of the indoor National Professional Soccer League in 1996-97 to a 4-7 mark as an interim head coach who continued to play. Prior to joining the Mutiny coaching staff on June 12, 1998, Van Der Beck had been the team's director of community relations since 1997. "This is the next step in my career. It's an honor," Van Der Beck said. "This is where I started my playing career and this is where I started my coaching career. This type of opportunity doesn't come around often. It's something I want to take advantage of, to run with, and I'm going to do the best I can. This is a change. It's a new beginning as far as I'm concerned. We're going to set some goals and we're going to achieve these goals. Either they're (the players) with me or they're not." Van Der Beck is one of the most recognizable names in the sport in Tampa and has been a part of the Bay Area soccer scene since 1978, when he was selected by the Rowdies as the first high school player (Aquinas H.S. in St. Louis) ever drafted by the North American Soccer League. Van Der Beck played through the glory years of the Rowdies, leaving in 1983 for a one-year stint with Team America, the U.S. national team in training that played in the NASL. He returned to the Rowdies in 1984, the NASL's last year of operation. One of the most popular players ever to don the Rowdies green-and-gold, Van Der Beck played in 144 career games. He totaled 17 goals and 20 assists for 54 points playing mostly in the defensive midfield. The Rowdies were two-time Soccer Bowl finalists during his career (1978 and 1979), and won the 1979 NASL Indoor Championship. Van Der Beck earned 24 caps and scored two goals for the U.S. national team.
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