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NSC Minnesota Stars Announce Assistant Coach, Player-Asst. Coach

2010 March 5
by Brian Quarstad

BLAINE, Minn. (March 4, 2010) – The NSC Minnesota Stars professional soccer team announced the hiring of Carl Craig as an assistant coach and Kevin Friedland as player-assistant coach. Additionally, Kyle Altman signed a player contract this week.

Carl Craig, originally from Newcastle, England and now living in Richfield, Minn., has been appointed as the first NSC Minnesota Stars assistant coach. Craig has an extensive background in soccer coaching going back to 1990, with his original head coaching job with the Walker Central Football Club in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. After several coaching assignments in England, he moved to Minnesota in 1994 where he assumed a head coaching position with the Edina Soccer Club.

Over the years, Craig coached at Minneapolis South, Hopkins and Richfield High Schools. He has also coached with the Edina, Wings, Westside, Twin Cities Phoenix and Dakota Rev Soccer Clubs. His most recent assignment has been as the U16 boys’ head coach and soccer operations manager at Shattuck-St. Mary’s School in Faribault, Minn.

Since 1995, he has served as a Region 2 staff coach, and is the head coach for the Minnesota Boy’s ODP Program.

In 2000, he secured his U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) “A” Coaching License, and his National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Premier Coaching Diploma in 2002.

“I’ve had experience at many different levels, primarily with youth, but also with adults prior to moving to the United States,” said Craig. “I think what I can bring on board is a great understanding of how to work with different players, within different age groups and levels.”

“Carl has worked very hard at many different levels. I think he’s going to provide a great amount of experience and insight for the team,” said Head Coach Manny Lagos.

Kevin Friedland, originally from Irvine, Cal., and more recently a Minnesota Thunder defender, has been appointed in the combination position as an assistant coach and player for the NSC Minnesota Stars. Friedland has been a popular player for the Thunder since 2004, with 115 game appearances and six goals. He recently completed his U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) “B” Coaching License course. He has coached at different youth levels, but this is his first professional coaching experience.

Friedland played his college soccer at Southern Methodist University from 2000-2003, where he was a second-team All-American in 2002. He was drafted by the Kansas City Wizards in the sixth round of the MLS Superdraft in 2003. He signed with the Thunder in 2004. In 2004, he was a member of the U.S. team that won the silver medal at the Maccabiah Games in Israel.

On his dual role as player-coach, Friedland said, “I’ll still be a player first and be contributing there, but I’ll also be helping out with both developing other players, and working with Manny and Carl behind the scenes to help shape the team.”

“Kevin still has a lot of value to provide for the team, and we also think he’ll transition into a pretty good coach,” said Head Coach Manny Lagos. “He’s been a great guy in the community and a great advocate for the sport in Minnesota.”

Kevin Friedland, NSC Minnesota’s new player assistant coach

Video of Carl Craig will be available this weekend.

15 Responses
  1. Soccer Boy permalink
    March 5, 2010

    This is great news. I love Carl and I am also glad that Kevin will remain with the team.

  2. March 5, 2010

    Just so everyone knows, I video taped Carl as well, was working on editing but it was 12:30 in the morning and had to get to bed. So as much as I wanted to bring that video to you today, it just wasn’t possible unless I decided not to sleep last night. Hopefully I’ll get it edited and up this weekend.

    BTW, agree with you on both counts Soccer Boy.

  3. Soccer Boy permalink
    March 5, 2010

    BQ–cannot wait to see the Craig video. He was my main instructor when I did my D license. What a great personality for a new soccer team. I can still visualize him yelling “GGGOOOAALLSO!”

  4. Trevor permalink
    March 5, 2010

    Carl is going to be an ENORMOUS asset to the team. It’s great to see Kevin back and taking charge as well. He was always one of my favorite Thunder players. Does anyone else wonder if we’ll see him in a captain’s armband?

  5. March 5, 2010

    you know what would be really cool? if our new assistant coach was carl craig the detroit techno pioneer!

  6. March 5, 2010

    Coach Craig sounds like he will be a great addition to the staff. I am wondering though, is it typical of other clubs within our league to have player-coaches? Seems a little…
    Can anyone answer my question?

  7. March 5, 2010

    The player-coach duality confuses me also. Wouldn’t it be best to be one or the other?

  8. Tom permalink
    March 5, 2010

    Carl is an excellent choice, and I wish him well. He was my son’s coach at Wings SC for a couple years, and I very much respected him. Any complaints I heard about him were from parents whose kids were on the bench, not picked to ODP team when he was staff coach, etc. You can always count on Carl to be honest, if not brutally honest. My son would play for him again in a heartbeat.

  9. zlatan permalink
    March 5, 2010

    Friedland, when health can be a strong sub at this point in his career. So far this team has 2 good players, and possibly 1 other if health, that can help the team win. Based on the general reaction, I have to assume that none of you really know CC, and are just charmed by his accent. So far, this team has good chance of ending the season with a goose egg in the W column (I know, such an American expression.)

  10. Soccer Boy permalink
    March 6, 2010

    In the movie Slap Shot, Paul Neumann was a player-coach. I think they ended up winning the championship. Maybe the Stars could get the Hanson Brothers to come play for them? I think they would make a great combo in back if they play a 3-5-2. Just a thought.

  11. March 6, 2010

    Zlatan, of course that is your opinion that they have two good players. I would say one star player, one possible star player, and a couple of very good players but for sure we are not even close to the same caliber of roster as a Montreal, Vancouver, Portland or Carolina. However, take a look at many of the other rosters this year. Austin is almost totally rebuilding their team after the first year but do have a number of really good pick ups. Devo listed Rochester’s team yesterday and they aren’t looking all that strong and still have many unknowns invited to camp that are not signed. Tampa and St. Louis I think will have very similar to our roster.

    I was a bit concerned with the roster for a while as well but I think what you are going to see this year are 2 or 3 tiers of teams in the league. And as Bud Grant was so fond of saying, on any given Sunday…. So perhaps if your team is disciplined enough you might surprise one of the big boys at home. Maybe not a lot different than the premiership where you have your top teams, your middle level and a bunch scrambling not to be on the bottom. I’m hoping we are someplace in the middle. We will see.

    There have been plenty of player-assistant coaches through the years in Division II soccer. I have no inside knowledge on this next statement so this is only my educated guess, but perhaps in order to keep Friedland they needed to throw him a bone beside the salary. Whatever may be the case, I know Kevin to be a quality guy and I am really happy for him.

    Manny is still unproven as a game day coach, but I like what they’ve done with this staff and I think the NSC has made sure there was a balance in the coaching staff.

  12. Jeff Wolter permalink
    March 6, 2010

    I don’t think anyone can say how our team will do in this new league until all the teams start playing.

    Vancouver and Portland should rule the league this year because any top player would see that as their best chance to get into MLS. The teams that appeared the most on a bubble of going away and now have new unknown/untested owners will most likely not attract the best available players in their first year.

    But, at this level it’s more about how the team starts its season, then about the preseason line-up of players. We have seen good line-ups go on to do nothing, and we have seen new teams do much better than we thought they would…

    That’s why we actually play the games.

  13. March 6, 2010

    “We have seen good line-ups go on to do nothing,”

    ” and we have seen new teams do much better than we thought they would…”

    Which ones? I can’t really think of any.

  14. Jeff Wolter permalink
    March 7, 2010

    My BU12 team in 2001 did better than I expected BQ.

  15. zlatan permalink
    March 8, 2010

    BQ, I am in agreement with you on Friedland. I also know him as a quality person and a leader on the field. I’m not sure his body will allow him to play 90 min each week…so when I called him a sub, I was not referring to his quality as a player, more his age.

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