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Van Der Beck likely coach pick for now; no guarantees for '02

By RODNEY PAGE

© St. Petersburg Times,
published July 11, 2001


General manager Bill Manning did everything but name Perry Van Der Beck coach Tuesday. Manning has had numerous discussions with Van Der Beck, who took over for Alfonso Mondelo on Friday, and likely will name him as Mondelo's replacement today.

"We're very close to naming a successor. It's something we hope to have done within the next 24 hours," Manning said.

When asked if Van Der Beck was the leading candidate, Manning said, "Yes."

Van Der Beck, 41, has been an assistant with the Mutiny since 1998, when he joined Tim Hankinson midway through the season. His only head coaching experience has been as a player/coach for the Tampa Bay Terror indoor team during the 1996-97 season.

Van Der Beck likely will take over for the rest of the season, but he has no guarantee for 2002. "Obviously, you want some certainty, but that's not always the position you're in," Van Der Beck said. "What you've got to do is see what they want, see what you want to do and go from there. The things that Bill has said to me have all been positive, but again, you want to get things in writing."

Van Der Beck started his career in 1978 with the Tampa Bay Rowdies. He had 24 appearances with the U.S. national team and played indoors with the Wichita Wings, Dallas Sidekicks and St. Louis Steamers. He worked in the Mutiny's community relations department in 1997 before becoming an assistant.

He has been the interim coach since Friday; his first game was a 3-2 loss to Chicago on Saturday. Tampa Bay (3-13-1) embarks on a two-game road swing at San Jose on Saturday. It is at Dallas on July 18. Jim McGeough remains an assistant.

Van Der Beck hopes to bring improvement.

"We've got to get the right attitude," Van Der Beck said. "Yes, we played better against Chicago, but we lost, and that's not good enough. All we can do is instill confidence in these guys that they can play with any other team."

OWNERSHIP UPDATE: The Glazer family was rumored to be taking over ownership, but that has not happened. Major League Soccer owns the team. Manning said discussions are not dead and that he hopes the team will have owners soon.

"Like any business deal, it takes time," Manning said. "There are still discussions at the league level, and I'm sure Don (Garber, commissioner) will have something in the near future."

McCARTY UPDATE: Defender Chad McCarty, who broke his left ankle in the opener April7, has been training lightly and hopes to be back in three weeks. McCarty, a member of the 2000 U.S. Olympic team, said he hopes to play overseas during the winter to make up for his lost summer.

BIG CROWDS: July4 is always a big draw for MLS teams. The Mutiny drew its largest crowd of the season, 20,730, against New York/New Jersey. Los Angeles had 52,634 against Columbus.

But no crowd compared with the 60,500 at Mile High Stadium for Colorado's 3-1 win over D.C. United. It was the fifth-largest crowd in MLS history and the largest to see an MLS game this season. The Rapids were 2-8-5 going in.

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