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Opportunity Knocks, Cobi Jones Answers

After 12 years of being one of Major League Soccer's most important players, the Los Angeles Galaxy's Cobi Jones thought it was time for "a long vacation." But then Dutch tactician Ruud Gullit was put in charge of his former team, and opportunity came knocking. Gullit needed an assistant coach; Jones moved to the front of the line.

"If I was going to be an assistant coach, it wasn't going to be with any other organization," he tells soccer columnist Andrea Canales. "To be honest, the fact that it's Ruud Gullit makes it possible for me to do this. Unless it was someone of his stature, I probably wouldn't have put myself in the position of being the assistant coach."

Jones concedes that the transition from teammate to coach will be difficult: "It's going to be hard, going from being in the locker room and joking around, to telling them what to do." However, his closeness to the Galaxy locker room is one of the main reasons he was brought on board. "I'm going to be the liaison between Ruud and the players, and going the other way as well," Jones said, adding, " there's going to be things that the players will say to me that they won't say to him."

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