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Mondelo Hired As Mutiny Coach

December 6, 2000

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) _ Alfonso Mondelo, the director of player development for Major League Soccer, was hired Wednesday as coach of the Tampa Bay Mutiny.

He received a two-year contract and replaces Tim Hankinson, whose option was not picked up in October.

``The reason I am here is to bring a bunch of players I think are very close to being an elite team in the MLS and take that step this year,″ Mondelo said. ``It is with that in mind that I come here.″

Despite having the MLS leaders in goals (Mamadou Diallo) and assists (Carlos Valderrama), the Mutiny (16-12-4) were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by Los Angeles.

Mondelo coached the New York-New Jersey MetroStars in 1998. He also coached Long Island of the United Soccer League for four seasons, including the 1996-97 seasons under current Tampa Bay general manager Bill Manning.

``I believe from the beginning because of my experience with Alfonso, I may have been a little bias,″ Manning said. ``Over a five-week, very extensive coaching search, it became clear to us that this was the best coach in the country to bring us to the next level.″

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