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Atlanta Silverbacks Appoint Chacon to Replace Abundis

2011 November 7
by Gerry Wittmann

Jose Manuel Abundis was released as coach of the Atlanta Silverbacks.

The NASL Atlanta Silverbacks announced today the appointment of Alex Pineda Chacon to replace Jose Manuel Abundis who the club said has been relieved of his coaching duties after managing the team this past season.

After a two-year hiatus from fielding a team, the Silverbacks were a disappointment in Abundis’ first head coaching opportunity, finishing last in the NASL with a 4-20-4 record. Chacon was an assistant with the club last season.

Abundis, 38, was appointed Silverbacks’ coach in January, following his brilliant career both for his native country, Mexico, and as a member of several Mexican Primera Division clubs. Earning 47 international caps for Mexico between 1996 and 2001, Abundis scored ten times for El Tri. At the club level, the striker from Guadalajara scored over 100 goals in the top tier of Mexican football, playing the majority of his career for Toluca,  but also wearing the kit of Atlante, Pachuca and Monterrey. Abundis also played four games for MLS’ New England Revolution in 2006 before retiring in 2008 following a stint back in Mexico with Queretaro.

New Atlanta head man Chacon was added to the Silverbacks’ coaching staff shortly after Abundis’ appointment.  Born in December 1969 in Santa Cruz, Honduras, Chacon joined Honduran powerhouse Club Olimpia in 1988 and was part of five domestic championship teams.  He also played briefly in Mexico and Peru before joining MLS’ Miami Fusion club in 2001, where he claimed four awards for his play that year, including League MVP. Chacon was with the New England Revolution, Columbus Crew and LA Galaxy in MLS before joining the Silverbacks in 2004, where he was named to the A- League All Star team. Chacon was part of the Silverbacks’ coaching staff in 2007-2008 before the club’s hiatus.

“As we begin to build our team for 2012, we’re excited to do it with a head coach like Alex, who has the experience, leadership, and determination needed to succeed in the NASL,” said Silverbacks President Michael Oki. “Alex understands we have high expectations for him, and he is looking forward to getting to work so he can produce results on the field right away.”

Although the club suffered a poor season in 2011, Abundis’ very inexperienced club generally put forth a good effort and several rookie players emerged as legitimate professionals. The Silverbacks were also instrumental in the resurgence of the career of defender Mario Perez, who demonstrated his abilities early in Atlanta’s season to the degree that he was offered a contract in the Mexican Primera Division with UAG Estudiantes Tecos, for whom he’s played a regular role during the 2011 Apertura.

Terms of Chacon’s new contract were not released.


3 Responses
  1. yankiboy permalink
    November 9, 2011

    I’m gonna say what I was thinking as soon as I received the club’s press release in my inbox:

    Abundis was asked to make steak with ground beef. Now I’m not a chef, but even I know that is too hard of a task. That team played hard but was a complete afterthought, a team just thrown in by Traffic and the NASL to make up the numbers. Budget-wise and talent-wise, that club was at a huge disadvantadge and had no real shot of ever getting out of the cellar.

    Maybe Abundis isn’t a good coach; Maybe he is. Considering that he was never given the horses that he needed to run the race, the jury is still out.

  2. Soccer Boy permalink
    November 9, 2011

    @Yankiboy, impressions and thoughts are the same. However, I also thought that the team lacked basic discipline and they were far from professionals. Hopefully the new coach can instill some professionalism in the players. Yeah, I am guilty of heckling from the old beer garden at the NSC, however, I got flipped off several times by Silverback players. Seriously, get over if and play the match. That is why us serious fans get paid the big bucks–to heckle YOU!

    They also played terrible in their last match against Montreal. My Tuesday night men’s rec team could have beat Atlanta that match. Professionals–far from it!

  3. yankiboy permalink
    November 10, 2011

    Anytime a player is flipping off a heckling fan, they have usually lost their way mentally.

    It not only looks unprofessional but it makes it also makes the player look like he got “owned”…

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