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- It Seems To Me. . .-

>Gulati has tough task in finding replacement for Arena.

New FIFA rules could complicate MLS's future plans.

Memo to soccer haters: Just shut up!

Arena was not fired for failure, but need of new direction.

Conflicts between MLS, USSF best interests can hamper U.S. cause.

U.S. failure in World Cup is easy to understand -- other teams were better.

MLS ability to develop top players must be examined.

FIFA must examine World Cup policies.

Referees might have been harsh, but U.S. was not cheated against Italy.

Americans' only hope of advancement is winning two straight.

Injuries have trashed conventional wisdom on Cup Group E.

At the World Cup, Arena chooses to do things his way.

With U.S. team in Germany, Adu makes gains at home.

MLS should lead the way by using second referee.

Arena's World Cup selections were made with a purpose.

Arena's selections for World Cup roster are fairly evident.

Arena needed to make no apology for loss to Germany.

Contiguglia presided over U.S. Soccer period of progress.

MLS business model is being eyed by European leagues.

Arena selections for Poland game give hints of World Cup roster.

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It Seems To Me . . .

Myernick passing is tragedy for whole U.S. soccer family.

By Robert Wagman
SoccerTimes

WASHINGTON (Monday, October 9, 2006) -- Glenn (Mooch) Myernick, just 51, died this morning, four-plus days after suffering a heart attack while after jogging near his home in Denver.

The passing of any man still well in his prime is tragic to his family, to his friends and to those who he touched. But in this case it is a tragedy to all involved in American soccer -- players, coaches, officials and fans -- because it is assured that he had much still to contribute to the growth of the sport in this country.

Mooch, as he affectionately was known to one and all, was a devoted family man and, above all else, a genuinely good guy. I had the great good fortune to know him for more than a decade, first as an assistant on the United States Olympic team, as the coach of the Colorado Rapids in Major League Soccer and then for eight years as Bruce Arena's assistant with the U.S. men

I saw Myernick and talked with him in places like Seoul; Hamburg, Germany; Mexico City, San Pedro Sula, Honduras; Port-of-Spain, Trinidad & Tobago and many stops in the U.S. Whether on the field, in the locker-room or in the hotel bar, he was always open and approachable and I never met anyone who knew more about the nuts and bolts of the games. He knew players and strategy, he knew what to expect from any opponent and, in those instances when things did not go according to plan, he knew why and what to do to insure better days ahead.

There was certainly no finer mind in all of American soccer. One trait of the U.S. men in their eight years under Arena was that they were always completely prepared when they took the field, no matter the opponent. At times, the team might not have preformed up to the highest level, but it always knew what it had to do to win. Myernick contributed greatly to this.

Arena today called him "The finest soccer person I've ever come across in the United States."

Somewhat lost in recent years was the memory of how good a player he once was He had a great collegiate career at Hartwick in Oneonta, N.Y., winning the Hermann Trophy as college soccer's outstanding men's player in 1976. He then went on to the North American Soccer League where he was one of the very best Americans playing in that league's best days. He earned "Most Valuable Player" honors for the Portland Timbers in 1982.

He earned 10 caps playing for the U.S. National Team and served as team captain in 1978. He also started four games for the U.S. Olympic team in qualifying for the 1976 Games.

Myernick coached the U.S. under-23 men, though they failed to qualify for the 2004 Summer Olympics and led the under-17s to the 1995 world championships in Ecuador. He had a special bond with younger players and helped many develop.

I never met a player who did not like him, did not trust him, did not listen to and learn from him -- from young players just starting to veterans with long international careers.

I assume that next summer Mooch was be inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame just down the road from Hartwick. I will look forward to that ceremony.

As Bruce Arena put it: "We lost a great person today. . . He will be sorely missed."

Amen.


The family asks, in lieu of flowers, fans to make a donation to a charitable fund set up in his Myernick's honor. Donations will be made to causes chosen by the family in the future. Monetary donations can be sent to the address below with checks payable to the Colorado Rapids Community Care Foundation with reference to the Mooch Myernick Memorial Fund.

Colorado Rapids Community Relations Department
Attention: Mooch Myernick Memorial Fund
1000 Chopper Circle
Denver, Colorado 80204

Fans can send their memories of "Mooch" to the USSF at mooch@ussoccer.org. Some will be posted on the organization's web site.

Robert Wagman is SoccerTimes senior correspondent.

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