Honoring Ron Newman Who Earned 50 Wins As The First Head Coach of Kansas City
U.S. Soccer Hall of Famer Ron Newman passed away in August at the age 84 in Tampa, Florida. Part II – A Tribute to Ron Newman.
Soccer News: Ron Newman was the first coach of Sporting Kansas City. Back then, the team was called the Kansas City Wizards and Newman coached the team for its inaugural 1996 season until his retirement in 1999.
A former professional himself, Newman came to the USA to play soccer in 1967 and his legendary coaching career spanned three decades.
Sporting KC’s General Manager Peter Vermes was coached by Ron Newman and remembers him fondly.
“I was fortunate enough at one time to be on a team where Ron was a coach – he was an incredible motivator,” said Vermes.
“Ron Newman got the best out of players. He knew what made guys tick,” said Vermes.
“I know that there are a lot of players that actually had really good careers because of the way he brought them along and got the best out of them,” said Vermes.
When Newman was the head coach of the San Diego Sockers, the indoor team earned a record of 10 championships and was adored by his former players, including Sean Bowers, Rene Ortiz, Phil Salvagio and Ray Taila.
“Ron Newman was a players’ coach,” said Sean Bowers who was recruited to join Kansas City in the first MLS SuperDraft and is now the General Manager of the San Diego Sockers. “Ron would also sit down and talk to players and really listen. His lesson plans would be towards having fun while learning. There wasn’t a lot of strictness in the way he dealt with people.
“Ron Newman loved the game and enjoyed the grind,” said Bowers.
“I first met Ron when I went to the SD Sockers’camp when I was ten years old. Ron started the MLS and I think he would be very happy with the direction of it today,” said Bowers.
“He wasn’t Wayne Rooney, he wasn’t David Beckham,” said Diego Gutierrez, “But I would argue that Ron paved roads that neither one of those guys ever has. Ron was a constant figure in American soccer for many, many decades at a time when it wasn’t popular.”
Related Soccer News: SPORTING KC and GUY NEWMAN HONOR THE LATE GREAT RON NEWMAN – FORMER HEAD COACH