Then and Now: Catching Up with Bruce Murray

When Bruce Murray's U.S. career ended in 1993, he held the all- time record for caps (93) and goals (21). Soccer America tracked down Murray, 34, a veteran of the 1988 Olympics and 1990 World Cup, at his home near Atlanta.

SOCCER AMERICA: Did you know that Soccer America named you to its College Team of the 1900s?

BRUCE MURRAY: Yes, I did. I've been getting a hard time about the photo. Can you choose a better one for this?

SA: Sure. ... So what are you doing?

BM: I'm actually back in soccer! I've got a U-15 team that I'm trying to push to the regional and national level.

SA: We last heard from you in 1996, when you were an assistant coach with the A-League Atlanta Ruckus. ...

BM: I did that for a year, then I got into the scrap copper business.

SA: What's that?

BM: Our company bought scrap copper from all over the country. We sold it or held it depending on the market price. I did that for a year, and it was a great learning experience. Then along came Paul Edwards, the team manager of the Norcross Fury. He heard I was in town and wanted to get me involved in coaching. I told him I was happy with what I was doing, but he made it worth my while ...

SA: And now you're a coach. ...

BM: If you'd have asked me about me being a coach back when I was a player, I'd have said you're crazy. But soccer calls you back, and I'm loving it.

SA: Do your players know about your history?

BM: Yeah, word gets around. And it lends you credibility as a coach.

SA: Why did you end your playing career so early?

BM: I signed with MLS at close to the top salary. But by then, I had a degenerative knee condition and when I went to the combine, I couldn't really run. Some players go on longer than 30, and some don't get that far. I thought it was time for me to walk away.

It turned out great. I live on a golf course, where I play in the morning. In the afternoon and evenings, I coach soccer.

SA: Do you have any message for your old colleagues?

BM: Eric Wynalda's a good golfer, but he should know my handicap is down to 2 or 3. ... I remember the guys more than I do the games. Let all the guys I played with know I miss them.

by Soccer America executive editor Mike Woitalla

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