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Mark Simpson Joins Mariners as Assistant Coach

January 8, 2003 - USL First Division (USL-1) - Virginia Beach Mariners News Release

Virginia Beach, VA – Mariners owner Mike Field announced that Mark Simpson, D.C. United’s goalkeeping coach, has joined the Mariners as the team’s assistant coach. The team owner, Mike Field, expects that “Mark will focus on daily training and player support to provide the players a structured environment, allowing Coach McDonald to concentrate on team evaluation and development.

“His professional experience and training, along with his great coaching style, makes Mark a great asset to our team,” Field added.

Simpson has been a part of Major League Soccer (MLS) since its inaugural season in 1996, when he became D.C. UnitedÂ’s first-choice keeper and started in all six of D.C. UnitedÂ’s playoff games, including the MLS Cup Championship match. In 1997, Simpson allowed just seven goals in seven matches before undergoing routine knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus. He underwent three additional operations after a life-threatening infection developed.

While the injury forced Simpson to sit out most of the 1998 season, he became D.C. UnitedÂ’s comeback story in 1999 when he shared the goalkeeping duties with Tom Presthus and was an integral part of D.C. UnitedÂ’s third MLS Cup Champion match. In 2000, Simpson started in 13 games for United and finished with a 4-5-4 record and a 1.60 goals against average (GAA). The reliable keeper also was awarded the CoachesÂ’ Choice award by UnitedÂ’s technical staff thanks to his key role in the teamÂ’s 3-0 U.S. Open Cup victory over Rochester and its 3-1 drubbing of Newcastle United from EnglandÂ’s Premier League.

Simpson concluded his MLS career in 2001 after posting a 5-2-0 record and a 1.71 GAA in league play. In 2002, Simpson became D.C. UnitedÂ’s goalkeeping coach and was responsible for the training, conditioning and game day preparation of goalkeepers Nick Rimando and Mike McGinty.

SimpsonÂ’s honors include three-time MLS Cup champions, U.S. Open Cup champion, CONACAF Champions Cup winner and Inter-American Cup winner. Simpson also specialized in goalkeeper training for Curt Onalfo Soccer.

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