Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Nowak takes over U-23s

When he left Chivas USA, Bob Bradley was named head coach of the U.S. Under-23 national team and the interim head coach. Now that he's assumed the latter full time, the former has been filled with someone else.

Peter Nowak was officially named U.S. Under-23 national team coach on Wednesday. Nowak will be responsible for guiding the Under-23 national team in its quest to reach the 2008 Summer Olympics. Qualifying will take place sometime next year.

This move is important because Nowak will have influence over some of the United States' top young prospects, including those who played for the U.S. in the recent U-20 World Cup and some budding young MLS talent. Anyone who played for the U.S. in Canada is eligible while MLS players such as Sacha Kljestan, Adam Cristman, Jacob Peterson, Arturo Alvarez and Stuart Holden could also be part of the mix.

Nowak will be responsible not only for qualifying and trying to win a medal but also for helping develop players for the full national team. He'll have Bradley and plenty of other people helping him out but Nowak is ultimately in charge of this age group.

Also, if he does well, Nowak could position himself to be next in line for taking over the senior national team whenever that position may open up.

Nowak's resume speaks for itself. He played in the Bundesliga and won an MLS Cup in his first season both as a player and as a coach. Now that he's assumed the Under-23 role, it seems as if it'll be another challenge he'll successfully overcome.

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