U.S. Soccer: Queiroz returns as adviser

Almost two years after rejecting an offer to serve as the head of the U.S. national team program, Portuguese coach Carlos Queiroz is back as a consultant with U.S. Soccer. Queiroz signed a seven-month agreement with U.S. Soccer to observe, evaluate and help coach U.S. Soccer's national youth programs. Queiroz coached MLS's MetroStars in 1996 before heading to Japan, where he coached Nagoya Grampus Eight of the struggling J-League. He will work this year on examining long-range development programs, part of U.S. Soccer's Project 2010, its plan to win the World Cup in the year 2010. "We welcome Carlos into our U.S. Soccer family," said U.S. Soccer secretary general Hank Steinbrecher. "His renowned expertise in developing young players is something we need at this stage in our history. His views in implementing our ambitious Project 2010 will go a long way to ensuring its ultimate success." Queiroz will also assist the U.S. World Cup team in preparations for France '98. Queiroz, who made his reputation as the head of the Portuguese national youth team program in the late '80s and early '90s, had been rumored to be in the hunt for the position of U.S. technical director. He had turned down the job of national team coach and technical director in 1995 to remain at Portuguese club Sporting. Ironically, he left the struggling Lisbon team within a year. He joined the MetroStars in the late spring of MLS's first season, but he didn't wait until the end of the campaign to announce he was heading to Japan, where he replaced Frenchman Arsene Wenger, now at English club Arsenal, as coach of Grampus Eight. Despite the presence of Yugoslav star Dragan Stojkovic, Grampus Eight struggled in 1997. It finished 12th and fifth in the two stages of the '97 league season. Some had questioned the ability of a foreigner to survive the heavily politicized world of American youth soccer. Germans Dettmar Cramer and Karl-Heinz Heddergott had short stints as technical chiefs in the '70s and '80s before departing. U.S. national team head coach Steve Sampson expressed optimism with Queiroz's arrival. "I look forward to working with Carlos," he said, "not only because of his proven track record with youth national teams, but also for the insight he will add to our scouting process for France '98." Meanwhile, Sigi Schmid has taken charge of the U.S. U-20 squad, succeeding Jay Hoffman, who coached it at the 1997 World Cup. Schmid, a 1994 World Cup assistant coach, guided UCLA to the 1997 NCAA title. John Ellinger succeeds Jay Miller as U-17 coach.
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