MLS: Firmani resigns from MetroStars

Eddie Firmani has resigned from his position as head coach of the New York/New Jersey MetroStars, the team reported May 24. Assistant coach Ralph Perez will take over as interim head coach while team GM Charlie Stillitano searches for a full-time replacement.

"I feel it is in the best interest of the club and the team that I step down," said Firmani. "Things are not going well right now, and the team probably needs a change. I hope this will help get the team going in the right direction."

Firmani, 62, is the only coach to have won three NASL titles (he won the Soccer Bowl in 1975 with the Tampa Bay Rowdies, and in 1977 and 1978 with the New York Cosmos), but with the MetroStars languishing at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings after accruing a mere 5 points from 8 games, a change was apparently in order.

"Eddie Firmani represents nothing but class," said Stillitano. "He came into a difficult situation and handled it well. We are confident that Ralph Perez will do a fine job in the interim...Hopefully, we will have a coach in place in the very near future."

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