Changes at top for Timbers
It was announced Wednesday by Minnesota Thunder officials that Thunder all-time leading goal scorer, Amos Magee, a St. Paul native, has been named head coach of the Thunder and will take the place of 16-year head coach Buzz Lagos who announced his retirement after the 2005 season. Magee, 34, who retired as a player after the 2004 season, had spent the previous 15 years as a player under Lagos and the last year as an assistant coach. The St. Paul native will have big shoes to fill after his predecessor, Lagos, posted a combined record over 16 years of 325 wins, 149 losses, and 46 draws. Lagos also took the team to seven league finals, winning it all in 1999 against the Rochester Raging Rhinos in a game where Magee tallied both assists. The Portland Timbers announced earlier Tuesday that general manager Jim Taylor has resigned his position with the USL First Division franchise and that the team has relieved head coach Bobby Howe of his duties with the club. Both Taylor and Howe had been with the Timbers since the team's inaugural United Soccer Leagues season in 2001. Taylor will continue to be involved with the organization in an advisory capacity. Howe posted an overall five-year Timbers mark of 74-57-21 in matches of record, going 69-49-20 in the regular season, 3-6-1 in the postseason and 2-2-0 in the US Open Cup. The Timbers never finished with a losing record under Howe, winning the regular season title in 2004 with an 18-7-3 mark, garnering USL First Division Coach of the Year honors for Howe. USL-2: Long Island names new coach The Long Island Rough Riders announced Monday the completion of a transfer of ownership, the launch of a new logo and the hiring of a new head coach, Flavio Ferri. Ferri is a native of Brazil and a former player with the Tampa Bay Mutiny of the MLS, as well as with the Rough Riders. Ferri was previously Vice President of Youth Programs for the Rough Riders and will continue in his management role, assisting with the youth and training programs the organization offers. W-League: Seven alumni up for FIFA Player of the Year Seven former W-League players were among the 24 announced Thursday on the short list for the 2005 FIFA World Player of the Year honor. Two former Boston Renegades were among the seven honored with the United States' Shannon Boxx and Finland's Laura Kalmari. Boxx played for the Renegades in 1999 and Kalmari helped lead the team to a second straight W-League title in 2002. Two New Jersey Wildcats were also selected. The only other US player honored was 2005 Wildcats striker Christie Welsh, a former member of the Long Island Lady Riders (2000) and Hampton Roads Piranhas (2001-02). England international Kelly Smith was an All-League selection just a year ago with the Wildcats, who she led to an unbeaten season that ended in a loss in penalty kicks in the final. She also played for the New Jersey Lady Stallions (1999-00). Three others honored were former Kansas City Mystics forward and 2002 W-League MVP and Scoring Champion Maribel Dominguez of Mexico, former Vancouver Whitecaps (2001-02) forward Christine Sinclair of Canada, and former Denver Diamonds (1999-00) forward Homare Sawa of Japan. All three were the lone representatives of their nation on the list. SYL: One spot left for North American Finals The field of teams for the 2005 North American Finals is almost full, with 127 squads having earned a bid to the event, which will be held Nov. 17-22 in Tampa, Florida. Just one slot remains, as the U-13 Boys Southeast Division of the Southern Conference has still not declared a winner. This Sunday the Miami Strike Force will take on Schulz Academy in a match with huge implications not only for those two teams, but also for Del Ray Soccer Club. Del Ray currently leads the division at 10-2-0 but a Miami win will put the Strike Force into the North American Finals. Should Schulz Academy earn the victory, Del Ray would be the likely division winner, unless Schulz wins the game by 16 goals or more. The 2005 edition of the Super Y-League North American Finals figures to be a true continental championship as teams that are already assured of a trip to Tampa will be coming from as far away as Vancouver, British Columbia (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Danville, California (Mustang SC) and Ottawa, Ontario (Ottawa Fury) and from as short a distance as Hillsborough County, Florida (HC United). Four teams in the U-18 and U-19 age brackets were crowned champions earlier this year Sunday, Aug. 7 in West Windsor, New Jersey. The four-day event brought the top 20 teams in the U-18 and U-19 age groups together from the USL Super Y-League. HC United defeated the MetroStars 6-5 in penalty kicks for the U-19 Boys title after finishing in a 1-1 draw while the Northern Virginia Majestics won the U-19 Girls championship with a 3-0 victory over Seacoach United. The MPS Boston Bulldogs took a 2-1 decision over fellow MPS side Cape Cod Crusaders in the U-18 Boys Final as Black Watch SC downed FC Westchester 2-0 in the U18 Girls Championship.