Mutiny names Alfonso Mondelo head coach

Tampa Bay Mutiny president & GM Bill Manning today named Alfonso Mondelo as the fourth head coach in team history. Mondelo, 42, brings nearly two decades of coaching experience to Tampa. He took the MetroStars to a playoff berth in 1998 (but was replaced by Bora Milutinovic before the postseason) and guided the Long Island Rough Riders for four successful seasons. Mondelo most recently served as MLS Director of Player Development and head coach of the U.S. Project-40 squad. "Alfonso and I have worked together in the past, that's a key for me," Manning said. "I'm also excited about the opportunity to expand the Mutiny's relationship within the Hispanic community with Alfonso as our head coach. ôBut the main component both he and I share is winning, and we both agree that we must improve upon our 3-10-3 mark of last season versus the top teams in MLS -- Kansas City, Chicago, Los Angeles and the MetroStars. I think Alfonso is the guy to get us over that hump." "I'm excited to have the opportunity to hopefully take the Mutiny further than they've been," said Mondelo, who signed a two-year agreement. "This is a team that's on the verge of breaking into elite status in MLS. I look forward to guiding the Mutiny and to the challenge of bringing an MLS Cup to Tampa Bay." Following today's announcement, Mondelo will head for Charlotte, N.C., where he will participate in MLS head coaches meetings that coincide with the Men's College Cup, the Division I NCAA championship. Mondelo is a native of Spain. In addition to his Pro-40 (a joint venture between MLS and the United States Soccer Federation designed to improve the U.S.'s ability to compete with the top countries of the world in both the World Cup and Olympic Games) duties this past season, Mondelo was also charged with piloting the scouting program for the 12 clubs in MLS, including college, youth and the loaning and replacement of players between MLS and United Soccer League (USL) teams. He has been involved in professional and youth coaching since 1981. After working with U.S. Soccer as a youth scout during 1999, Mondelo was tabbed by MLS to lead Pro-40 and Player Development last January. Prior to taking the MLS post, Mondelo was a member of U.S. coach Bruce Arena's staff when the team finished third in the 1999 Confederation's Cup. He also served as an instructor for the U.S. Soccer Federation's Coaching School, focusing on Hispanic and minority programs One of the most respected coaches in the Northeast, Mondelo began carving his coaching niche with the New York Hota Bavarians, leading the side to four straight final four appearances in the U.S. Amateur Cup (1990-93) before moving to the Rough Riders in 1994. With Long Island, where Manning was his general manager in 1996 and 1997 and current Mutiny midfielder Kevin Anderson was on the roster, Mondelo fashioned an 73-31-1 mark in four seasons (1994-97), including four consecutive North Atlantic Division titles to go along with the 1995 USISL (now USL) Pro League Championship. Following his success at Long Island, Mondelo accepted the head coaching position with the MetroStars prior to the 1998 season. He took the Metros, a squad that did not qualify for the playoffs the year before, to a 14-17 mark, and clinched an Eastern Conference playoff berth before resigning with one game left in the regular season. Mondelo was born on August 13, 1958 in Baracaldo, Spain, and moved to Queens, New York, when he was 13. In 1979, after two seasons and 22 goals with A.D. Torrejon of Spain's Second Division, his pro career was cut short by a knee injury. Two years later, he began his successful coaching trek with the Hota Bavarians, the longest-established amateur club team on Long Island. Mondelo comes to Tampa after residing in Franklin Square, N.Y. He has two children, Natassia, 17 and Karina, 12.
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