Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Gansler voted into National Soccer Hall of Fame

Fittingly, Bob Gansler was lecturing at a coaching clinic in Florida when he heard the news on Tuesday.

Gansler, who coached the Kansas City Wizards (now known as Sporting Kansas City) to their only two MLS Cup appearances — winning the championship 2000 — was elected Tuesday to the National Soccer Hall of Fame.

Gansler spent 1989-91 as coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team, including guiding the 1990 side to its first World Cup final since 1950. He was selected MLS Coach of the Year in 2000 and led the Wizards to MLS Cup in 2004 and to the Lamar Hunt Open championship in 2004.

Gansler was joined in the Hall of Fame Class of 2011 by players Cobi Jones, Earnie Stewart, Eddie Pope and Bruce Murray.

“It’s always satisfying when folks think you held up your end of the bargain,” said Gansler, 69. “I’ve had a lot of opportunities to be of help, and I would think I sometimes have succeeded.

“As with most jobs, after they’re done, people like to say, ‘Did I leave it a little better than when I started?’ and if the answer is yes… then you feel OK, and most situations, I came out that way.”

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