Soccer News: Minnesota United FC’s Manny Lagos
Leading Minnesota United FC to a league-high 55 points this year, Manny Lagos has been named 2014 North American Soccer League (NASL) Coach of the Year, the league announced Friday.
In his fourth NASL season in charge of Minnesota, Lagos guided the club to the 2014 NASL Spring Season Championship and the league’s top overall record. United earned the #1 seed in The Championship, the league’s four-team postseason tournament, but they were eliminated on penalty kicks by the Fort Lauderdale Strikers last weekend.
“We had a great year, and I think this award is a representation of the great coaching staff and the great players that we have,” said Lagos. “We have had a good core of players the last few years and we brought in some exciting new talent this year as well. I appreciate the honor, but it really is a reflection of what we did on the field as a team.”
The St. Paul, Minnesota native, who is currently second on the league’s all-time list of regular season victories during the modern era, is also one of only three coaches who has stayed with the same team since the NASL’s re-launch in 2011. Lagos previously led Minnesota to the 2011 NASL Soccer Bowl title and helped the club finish as runners-up the following year.
Prior to taking over the helm in 2010, Lagos had a successful career as a player. He first played for the Minnesota Thunder before moving on to the NY/NJ MetroStars, Chicago Fire, Tampa Bay Mutiny, San Jose Earthquakes and Columbus Crew.
Lagos, 43, was also a member of the 1992 U.S. Men’s Olympic team, playing in all three of the team’s first round group matches. He scored winning goal in the USA’s 3-1 victory against Kuwait. Lagos appeared three times for U.S. Men’s National Team before retiring in 2005.
The NASL Coach of the Year award was voted on by media who cover the league on a regular basis. In 2012, Ricky Hill of the Tampa Bay Rowdies won the award, while Brian Haynes of the Atlanta Silverbacks took home the prize in 2013.