MLS: New England's Stapleton departs

Irishman Frank Stapleton became the MLS's fourth coaching casualty when he quit as head coach of the New England Revolution today, only five days after the Rev were eliminated from the playoffs.

Stapleton, the all-time leading Irish goalscorer, had little previous coaching experience before he took over New England. He struggled to find any consistent scoring this season and clashed often with star defender Alexi Lalas. The Revolution finished with a 15-17 record, but six of its wins came in the shootout.

The news of Stapleton's departure came as a surprise. Only this morning, general manager Brian O'Sullivan told the Boston Globe that no decision on Stapleton's future was imminent.

Stapleton, who was not popular with Revs' fans, said he made the decision for family reasons.

Other coaches who have left: Eddie Firmani (MetroStars), Timo Liekoski (Columbus) and Bob Houghton (Colorado). Firmani's successor, Carlos Queiroz, will himself depart at the end of the MLS season to coach the J-League's Nagoya Gramous Eight.

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