MLS: New England signs Zenga as player-coach

The New England Revolution has announced that former Italian national team keeper and 1997 Revolution MVP Walter Zenga will return for the 1999 season as both the team's head coach and goalkeeper. Zenga became interim coach of the Revolution on August 24, and guided the team to a 3-3 record in the team's final six games, narrowly missing a playoff spot. The team posted shut-outs in four of its last five games with Zenga at the helm. In 1997, Zenga led the team to its first-ever MLS play-off berth as a player. The team was 15-7 with Zenga in goal and 0-10 without him that season. "New England has become my home away from home," Zenga said. "I believe we can build a championship contender here. As a goalkeeper, in many ways I have always been a coach on the field. I feel confident that I can continue to provide leadership and also give my best on the field as well. Our fans deserve nothing less." In 1997, Zenga owned the league's second best goals against average. and was the starting goalkeeper for the Eastern Conference in the 1997 MLS All-Star Game. "Walter made an immediate impact on our team as our coach this year and was our most valuable player on the field in 1997," said Revolution GM Brian O'Donovan. "By combining both of these talents, we can maximize his potential in building a championship-caliber team for next year and beyond."
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