Soul Appoint Jeff Kraft as Assistant Coach and Director of Soccer Operations
CHICAGO -- The Chicago Soul organization is pleased to announce the hiring of Jeff Kraft as assistant coach and director of soccer operations. Kraft, who brings over 25 years of indoor soccer experience to the club, will serve as assistant to Novi Marojevic, who was promoted to head coach in December.
"I am thrilled to join the Soul organization," said Kraft. "Novi [Marojevic] and I have known each other for many years, and I look forward to working alongside again and striving to bring a championship to the city of Chicago."
In addition to serving as an assistant coach for the Soul, Kraft will continue to serve as the head coach for the PASL's Rockford Rampage. Prior to his time there, Kraft was the head coach for the now defunct Chicago Riot during the 2010-2011 MISL season.
Kraft has earned several honors throughout his coaching career, including the National Indoor Soccer League (NISL) Coach of the Year in 2009, the American Indoor Soccer League (AISL) Coach of the Year in 2008, and the AISL Runner Up Coach of the Year in 2007.
Kraft launched his indoor soccer career as a player in 1986 with the Kansas City Comets of the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL). He made his professional debut on May 3, 1986 against the Chicago Sting at the Rosemont Horizon. The 6'3" defender tallied a goal and assist to help the Comets to a 7-6 come-from-behind victory over the Sting.
Upon the conclusion of the 1986-87 MISL season, Kraft left Kansas City to join the Hershey Impact of the AISA. Kraft spent three seasons with the impact as a defender, totaling 31 goals and eight assists in 74 games and led the team in game-winning goals with six.
Kraft was named Assistant Coach on July 6, 2004 for the Chicago Storm's 2004-2005 MISL inaugural season. After one season, Kraft went on to become the head coach of the Rockford Thunder of the American Indoor Soccer League (AISL) during the 2005-2006 campaign. Although a provisional member of the AISL, Kraft's squad beat the defending champion Cincinnati Excite 9-8 in overtime to set the path for the next four seasons to come in Rockford. Kraft posted a 39-28 overall record with the Thunder organization, which eventually changed its name to the Rampage. Over a span of four years, Kraft's teams made appearances in three championship games. On March 15, 2008 the Rampage defeated the Massachusetts Twisters for the AISL Championship, winning 18-5 in Rockford after a near perfect season with a record of 14 wins and one loss.
"In my 20-plus years in professional soccer, I have never worked with a more positive coach and person," Marojevic said of Kraft. "Players love and respect him. He's not just a great coach, but he's also a great person and friend, and I believe he will make a great addition to our staff."
The Soul resume action at home when they face the MISL defending champion Milwaukee Wave on Friday, January 18 at the Sears Centre Arena. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. CT. For ticket information, visit www.chicagosoulfc.com or call (224) 699-4110.
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Major Indoor Soccer League Stories from January 14, 2013
- Soul Appoint Jeff Kraft as Assistant Coach and Director of Soccer Operations - Chicago Soul FC
- Wave Move into Top Spot - MISL
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