The Colorado Rapids have hired Glenn Myernick as their head coach, the team announced Nov. 19. The U.S. Olympic team assistant coach replaces Bob Houghton, who resigned Sept. 9.
Myernick joins the Rapids after spending the past five years in Colorado Springs as one of the National Coaching Coordinators for U.S. Soccer. He worked on player recruitment, coaching education, and the Olympic Development Program for the western half of the country.
During this time, Myernick also served as the assistant coach for the U.S. U-20 team, which finished eighth at the 1993 U-20 World Championship. He then led the U.S. U-17 team to the 1995 World Championship in Ecuador before being appointed as Bruce Arena's assistant with the 1996 Olympic squad.
"Glenn Myernick brings to the Rapids all the qualities that we are looking for to lead us in a positive direction next season," said Rapids President Bob Sanderman. "He is one of the finest young American coaches in the game today. He...has a wealth of knowledge of today's young American players. His coaching style results in attacking and exciting soccer. He is readily familiar with the top players in Mexico, Central and South America, where we will be looking to bolster our team. And just as important, as a Colorado resident he is familiar with and respected by many of the top leaders of the vast Colorado soccer community."
After a stellar collegiate career at Hartwick, Myernick (the 1976 Hermann Trophy winner) played professionally with the NASL's Dallas Tornado, Portland Timbers, and Tampa Bay Rowdies, where current Rapids star Roy Wegerle was a teammate.
Myernick also made 14 appearances for the U.S. national team during the latter half of the 1970s, earning the captain's armband in 1978.
After his retirement from pro soccer in 1985, he spent time as an assistant coach at the University of Tampa, and then at Hartwick, before becoming U-20 national team assistant coach in 1989. He was also Assistant Director of Coaching for the NSCAA.
"I am thrilled to be a part of MLS in my home state," said Myernick. "Colorado is a very well organized soccer state from top to bottom, and I am anxious to embrace the soccer community and make them proud of their Colorado Rapids."
Current U-17 assistant coach Tom Durkin has been named assistant coach of the Tampa Bay Mutiny, team GM Nick Sakiewicz announced today.
Durkin succeeds Renato Capobianco, who is expected to join former Mutiny head coach Thomas Rongen with the New England Revolution.
A native of Red Bank, N.J., Durkin graduated from Kean College and began his coaching career at Union College- Cranford in 1982. He then led Rutgers-Newark from 1986-90, earning the school's only post-season berth in 1989. He spent five years in Dallas, serving as Director of Coaching and Player Development for the North Texas State Soccer Association and coaching the men's and women's programs at Richland College, where we won five regional titles.
For the past year, Durkin has, in addition to his U-17 post, been the Director of Coaching and Player Development for the Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Association in Horsham, Pa.
"I'm very pleased that Tom will be able to join us at the Mutiny," said new Tampa Bay head coach John Kowalski. "He has a tremendous knowledge of the game, which will help us in our scouting and game preparation, and he is also an excellent teacher. His ability to fluently speak both Spanish and Portuguese will be invaluable to us as we prepare the team for the 1997 MLS season."
The Kansas City MLS franchise officially extended its name from the Wiz to the Wizards on Monday.
"The new name was a result of several factors coinciding," said Kansas City GM Tim Latta. "Our original desire was to use the name Wizards as a result of the '1995 Name the Team' contest, but the Delaware Wizards [of the USISL] held the trademark rights to the name. After discussions with our equipment supplier, the decision was made to go with the shortened version Wiz, which followed the League's progressive marketing approach.
"After we announced the team name, the Eastern-based electronics firm 'Nobody Beats The Wiz Inc.' expressed concern that we may be infringing upon the trademark rights to the name Wiz. With the success of MLS in its inaugural season, the Delaware Wizards have since indicated their desire to help support the league and the sport, and have released their claim to provide the MLS full and permanent approval to use the name Wizards."
As part of the name change, the club has also modified their logo, although the team's primary colors remain Carolina blue and black.
"The new name is a perfect fit for us," said Kansas City coach Ron Newman. "Sir Stanley Matthews of England was known as the 'Wizard of Dribble' and that certainly fits [Wizards star] Preki today. You can expect great 'feets of magic' from the Wizards in 1997."