Found November 19, 2011 on
Fox Sports Houston:
MLS continues to hire ex-players to coach teams.
The latest hiring is former New England defender Jay Heaps, who goes straight from the commentators' booth to taking over the reins of the Revolution.
Back in 1996 when LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena got his first professional coaching gig in the burgeoning MLS out of the University of Virginia, no one knew where the league would be in 2011. Arena won two MLS Cups with the Marco Etcheverry-led DC United in the early years.
After a historic stint with the U.S. National team, Arena returned to MLS with the New York Red Bulls and then was brought in to win the MLS Cup in Los Angeles.
Against the Dynamo on Sunday night he is expected to win it with the firepower of Landon Donovan, David Beckham and Robbie Keane behind him. Not to mention, the investment of owners Anschutz Entertainment Group.
It won't be easy.
Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear was a player in the league in 1996. He along with Arena is considered one of the best coaches in the history of the league. Both have the opportunity to win their third MLS Cup and boost their status as winning coaches. Both have steadfastly believed in the American player. Both are intensely competitive as their players will attest to. Their journey as coaches will have had remarkable challenges as has the sport in this country.
As much as this MLS Cup shines on players it also symbolizes in many ways the growth of the American soccer coach.
Dynamo coach Kinnear admits that he might not have ended up as a coach if it were not for San Jose Earthquakes head coach Frank Yallop himself historic in that he has won two MLS Cups with Kinnear as his assistant in 2001, 2003.
"I never really wanted to be a coach," said Kinnear. "I fell into the perfect situation with Frank Yallop. I didn't know anything about coaching. I owe a ton of gratitude to Frank for showing me and benefitted greatly from working with him."
Kinnear like the great coaches always deflects success on to his players; his humility is a sign of self-confidence. His ability to spot and manage players, define roles and plug them into his favored 4-4-2 set up has reaped benefits.
Kinnear and Arena clearly have proven to be some of the most intuitive of coaches when it comes to understanding MLS.
As much as the focus may be on players tomorrow one must not look past two legendary MLS coaches who will vie to be the first to win three MLS Cups.
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Visit http://www.majorleaguesoccertalk.com for the rest of the story.
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The coach is happy that Donovan will finally get his deserved recognition. David Beckham, Robbie Keane and Bruce Arena also praised the forward.