MLS: D.C. United puts Peter Nowak at the helm

D.C. United has hired Peter Nowak, the former Chicago Fire star who has no professional coaching experience, as head coach, replacing Ray Hudson, who was dismissed after the 2003 season following two years in charge.

''He has a wealth of experience in the game and knows what it takes to become successful in Major League Soccer,'' said United technical director Dave Kasper. ''We are confident that Peter will lead our team in the right direction.''

Nowak, 39, played 23 years of professional soccer in his native Poland, Germany, Switzerland, Turkey and MLS.

He helped the Chicago Fire win the 1998 MLS is his first year and played four more seasons for the Fire before retiring after the 2002 season. The playmaker was selected to the MLS Pepsi Best XI three times (1998, 2000, 2001).

''As a player, I remember the great home field advantage that United enjoyed,'' said Nowak. ''Those great fans have suffered with the team as of late and I hope our return to winning ways will allow us many chances to celebrate future successes together.''

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