Former MLS star to coach Cafeteros

[COLOMBIA] Former Colombia star Leonel Alvarez, who played five seasons in MLS with Dallas and New England, was named Colombia's new national team coach, replacing the popular Hernan Dario Gomez, who quit last month after being involved in an incident in which he struck a woman at a Bogota bar.

Alvarez, 46, was Gomez's assistant and then the national team's interim coach after Gomez, who apologized for the incident, resigned on Aug. 22.

Alvarez will face the task of leading Colombia in World Cup 2014 qualifying, which begins next month in South America. The Cafeteros have not qualified since 1998.

"We are going to put all our effort toward the objective of returning to the World Cup," he said. "Believe me, it is an immense honor, a great pleasure."

Alvarez earned 106 caps for Colombia and played at the 1990 and 1994 World Cups and at five Copa Americas.

He was a Best XI selection for the Dallas Burn in MLS's first season. After a year at Mexican club Veracruz, he returned to Dallas in 1998 but was traded to New England to the next season.

After leaving MLS in 2001, he played three more years in Colombia before retiring in 2004.

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