Mondelo Hired As Mutiny Coach
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.″