Bradley names Preki as Chivas USA Assistant Coach
January 20, 2006 - Major League Soccer (MLS) News Release
PHILADELPHIA - Chivas USA Senior Vice President and General Manager Whit Haskel announced today that Preki, one of the most distinguished and spectacular players in the history of Major League Soccer, has been named Assistant to Head Coach Bob Bradley. Preki, who ended his playing career just last year (2005), joins Chivas USA's coaching staff effective immediately, having participated in the delegation to today's 2006 MLS SuperDraft at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
"I'm very excited about Preki joining our team. He brings to our coaching staff his great experience as a player and a different vision of the game. He is and excellent addition to Chivas USA," said Bradley.
"We're happy to have a player of Preki's talent and experience join our staff so soon after the end of his brilliant MLS career. We know he will be a valuable role model for both our veteran and young players alike," said Haskel.
Born Predrag Radosavljevic on June 24, 1963, in Belgrade, capital of then-Yugoslavia, Preki played for Red Star Belgrade from 1983-1985. After playing indoor soccer in the United States from 1985-1992, Preki returned to Europe to play two seasons for Everton (1992-94) of the nascent English Premier League, before joining Portsmouth of the England's First Division, where he played the 1994-95 season. His return to the U.S. saw a brief stint in indoor soccer, before joining the Kansas City Wizards, the team with which he would retire last season (2005), in Major League Soccer's inaugural year (1996). Preki also played for one year with the Miami Fusion (2001).
"I'm really fortunate that Bob Bradley and the Chivas organization have created this opportunity for me. I'm excited to come on board. As we all know, Chivas is a huge name in Mexico and we hope for Chivas USA to be just as big here in the U.S. I know that Bob is looking forward to that the challenge, as well as Martín Vásquez and the rest of the staff," said Preki.
Preki is, quite simply, one of the most spectacular attacking players in the history of Major League Soccer, scoring in his career a total of 79 goals and registering 112 assists during a 10-year MLS career. He was an MLS champion with Kansas City in 2000, and is also MLS's only two-time MVP, having earned the honor in both 1997 and 2003, years in which he was also the league's scoring leader. He was named to the league's All-Star team eight times and to the MLS Best XI for the 1996, 1997, 2001 and 2003 seasons. He played 242 MLS games (223 starts), logging 19,957 minutes.
Preki gained U.S. citizenship in 1996 and played 28 games for the national team (seven as a starter), including two games in the 1998 World Cup in France, where he faced off against his native Yugoslavia. As a U.S. National team member, he recorded four goals, none more spectacular than his long-range strike against Brazil at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on February 10, 1998 in the U.S.'s 1-0 win, the Americans' only victory ever against the South American giants.
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