MLS: Zenga named New England head coach

Former Italian international and New England goalkeeper Walter Zenga has been named head coach of the Revolution for the remainder of the 1998 season. Zenga, 38, replaces Thomas Rongen, who resigned after guiding New England to a disappointing 8-18 record in 1998 and 23-35 overall in just under two years with the club. "After meeting with management and reviewing the situation, I now feel it is in the best interest of the organization that I step aside as head coach of the Revolution," said Rongen, who had vowed to stay on with the team despite its demoralizing 5-1 loss to the L.A. Galaxy Aug. 22. Zenga, who had 38 shutouts in 58 appearances for Italy, was a force in goal for New England in 1997, posting a 15-7 record in MLS play and finishing second in the league in goals-against average. In his absence, the Revs were 0-10. He was honored by the team at halftime of the Galaxy match. "Walter demonstrated last season that he has the leadership qualities to inspire," said Revolution GM Brian O'Donovan. "His presence is what we need going into our last six regular-season games and as we look towards 1999. We are delighted that he has made the choice to return." Since his retirement following the 1997 season, Zenga has been living in Milan with his family and working as an actor, a sports commentator and an official for Inter Milan. "I loved my time... at Foxboro and I cannot wait to come back," Zenga said from Milan. "I will give everything I have to help lead this team in the right direction." Zenga is due to arrive Aug. 27. He will be assisted by Sid Mazzola, former coach of the ASL's Boston Bolts, and goalkeeper coach Peter Simonini.
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