Minnesota Stars FC Coach Manny Lagos Named Field Turf 2011 NASL Coach of the Year
Manny Lagos, former MLS player turned coach, has won the 2011 NASL Coach of the Year award presented by FieldTurf. The award was announced at this year’s NSCAA Convention in Kansas City which took place last week.
With the Stars being a league-owned team and operating on a shoestring budget, Lagos, who was in his 2nd year coaching the team, put together a squad of players who collectively gave great team efforts and stuck to Lagos’ game plan. The team ended the season 9-10-9, good enough for a 6th place finish and the final playoff spot. The Stars defied all odds by going on to defeat the 3rd place Rowdies and the 1st place RailHawks in the playoffs. In the finals they defeated the 5th place Strikers 3-1 on aggregate to win the new NASL Soccer Bowl Trophy.
The league championship was Minnesota’s first since Buzz Lagos, Manny’s father, won the 2nd division trophy back in 1999 with the Minnesota Thunder.
The NASL didn’t award a Coach of the Year award in their first season as a league. If they had, Lagos most likely would have been the hands down winner.
The FieldTurf Coach of the Year Awards recognize a coach’s dedication and hard work both on and off the field. The coaches that have been and will be selected for this award all exemplify outstanding leadership skills and enjoy well-deserved success. Special attention is given to coaches who are able to significantly improve their team’s effort, performance, and overall record from previous years along with coaches who enjoy success with young and inexperienced teams.
Other FieldTurf Coaching Award winners were:
MLS Coach of the Year – Peter Vermes, Sporting KC
The wait to enter Major League Soccer’s newest stadium was worth it for Vermes. Sporting KC played its first 10 games on the road (winning only once) before christening their new $200 million, state-of-the-art stadium. Once in the new digs, Vermes led Sporting KC on a tear, earning points in 21 of the season’s final 24 games and finishing atop the Eastern Conference. While Sporting KC bowed out to finalist Houston in the semifinals of the playoffs, this former US National Team captain has the Sporting fans and players believing greats things are on the horizon.
WPS Coach of the Year – Aaran Lines, Western New York Flash
Lines won his second consecutive FT coach of the year award after leading the Flash to back to back Championships. Last year he led the undefeated Buffalo Flash to the W-League championship and this year he finished the season 14-2-3 as Regular Season Champions and WPS Champions.
NASL (Division II) Coach of the Year – Manny Lagos, NSC Minnesota
The Lagos-led NSC Minnesota made the most of its sixth-place seeding into the playoffs by running the table and capturing its second 2nd division league title. Minnesota defeated the regular season champion Fort Lauderdale Strikers 3-1 on aggregate in the final.
USL (Division III) Coach of the Year – Adrian Heath, Orlando City
Heath shaped the league’s most stingiest defense, one that surrendered just 16 goals in 24 games, en route to it first ever USL Division III championship by defeating the Harrisburg City Islanders 3-2 in a penalty kick shootout. Orlando City posted a 15-3-6 record giving Heath the best record in the 12-team league.
USL W-League Coach of the Year – Chris Adams, Atlanta Silverbacks
The Atlanta Silverbacks trounced the Ottawa Fury 6-1 in the final to capture its first W-League title in team history. Adams’ capped off the season seeing his team surrender just seven goals in 12 games.
NCAA Division 1 Coach of the Year (Men’s Soccer) – Jeremy Gunn, UNC Charlotte
Jeremy Gunn led UNC Charlotte to its first final four appearance only to see his side lose in the final to in-state rival UNC 1-0. Gunn’s team captured the hearts of students by breaking its season attendance record. The student government even approve a $9,000 expense to bus students to the final in Hoover, Ala.
NCAA Division 1 Coach of the Year (Women’s Soccer) – Robbie Church, Duke
Church led Duke to the ACC regular-season championship and the final of the NCAA Division I Tournament with a starting lineup comprised entirely of underclassmen, Church led the Blue Devils to an overall record of 22-4-1. The 22 wins were a school record.
MLS Team of the Year – LA Galaxy
The Galaxy, led by international stars David Beckham, Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane, pieced together one of the most successful seasons in MLS history by winning the double – the regular season championship and the MLS Cup. The team’s 19 wins, 67 points and 28 goals allowed rank among the best ever for a club in a single season.
WPS Team of the Year – Western New York Flash
En route to the double, the Flash scored the league’s most goals (40) and surrendered the least (18). They were led by some of the world’s most dominant players including Brazil’s Marta, Canada’s Christine Sinclair and USA’s Alex Morgan..
NCAA Team of the Year – Stanford University
The third time was a charm for the Cardinal. Stanford capped an unbeaten campaign with a 1-0 victory over Duke to capture its first NCAA Division I title. The previous two seasons Stanford posted unbeaten seasons going into the