Thursday, November 19, 2009
TORONTO FC NAMES PREKI NEW HEAD COACH
As we told you on the show on Sunday night. Preki is the new coach of TFC. Toronto FC made the official announcement today.
Here's the official release:
Toronto FC announced Thursday, that Predrag “Preki” Radosavlijevic has been named the team’s fourth head coach in its history, signing a three year deal. The 46 year old Yugoslavian-born American joins Toronto after spending three seasons as the head coach at Chivas USA. As per league and team policy, financial details were not released.
“We are very excited to make this announcement today,” said director of soccer Mo Johnston. “Preki has everything we were looking for, and we feel he will be a perfect fit with our club. His resume with Chivas is impressive – having made it to the playoffs in every season he was there. His experience is what we need to take this club to the next level, and we can’t wait to get started.”
Radosavlijevic’s contract with Chivas USA expired at the end of this past MLS season leaving him open to explore new opportunities. He posted a career record of 40-29-21 (W-L-T) and a winning percentage of .561, the top mark in Chivas club history. He guided his team to top spot in the Western Conference in the 2007 regular season, with a 15-7-8 record, missing out on the Supporters Shield by only two points.
Named the Coach of the Year by MLS in 2007, he has also guided some the league’s top players including goalkeeper Brad Guzan, Sacha Kljestan and Zach Thornton (the 2009 Goalkeeper of the Year and Comeback Player of the Year).
As a player, Preki has a wealth of experience. He served a short stint with Red Star Belgrade in the old Yugoslav First League and from there went on to play indoor soccer in the U.S. for Tacoma Stars and St. Louis Storm before being bought by English Premier League side Everton in the summer of 1992. He spent two seasons with the Liverpool based club where he played with current Toronto FC director of soccer Mo Johnston. After a move to Portsmouth in July of 1994, Preki joined MLS in 1996 when he became a member of the Kansas City Wizards. He played every season in Kansas except for one year with the Miami Fusion in 2001. The Wizards brought him back the next season and it was there he won an MLS Cup in 2000, along with teammate Mo Johnston.
Preki is the only player to be awarded the MLS MVP Award and the MLS Scoring Champion twice, winning both in 1997 and 2003. He still holds the record for all-time league leader in points scored (270 on 79 goals and 112 assists, plus an additional 25 points on 10 goals and 5 assists in the playoffs). He played his last competitive game at the age of 42.
Internationally, he wore the colors of the U.S after obtaining citizenship in 1996. He played a total of 28 games, scoring four goals – one of the most memorable was a goal in the 1998 Gold Cup which beat Brazil.
Preki will travel to MLS Cup with Toronto FC director of soccer Mo Johnston later today.