Saturday, January 8, 2011

Whitecaps FC Confirm MLS Coaching Staff

Vancouver Whitecaps FC continue to shape their inaugural season in Major League Soccer, as the club announced today that Denis Hamlett has joined Teitur Thordarson's coaching staff as one of his assistants - subject to obtaining necessary Canadian work permit. The club also confirmed that assistant coach Colin Miller and goalkeeping coach Mike Salmon will remain part of Thordarson's coaching staff when the club begins play as the 17th MLS team in March. Per club policy, terms of their contracts were not disclosed.

Hamlett, 41, joins Whitecaps FC after serving 12 years in the coaching staff at MLS club Chicago Fire. This included two seasons as head coach of the Illinois-based outfit, with Hamlett leading the Fire to the MLS Eastern Conference Championship Final in 2008 and 2009, as well as the 2009 SuperLiga final. From 1998 to 2007, Hamlett served as Chicago's assistant coach, where he first coached then worked alongside Whitecaps FC director of soccer operations Tom Soehn. As assistant coach, Hamlett helped the Fire claim a memorable double of MLS Cup and Lamar Hunt US Open Cup titles in the club's first year of existence in 1998. He also helped Chicago win further US Open Cup titles in 2000, 2003, and 2006. Prior to arriving in Vancouver, Hamlett coached the men's team at Chicago's Illinois Institute of Technology this past autumn. Hamlett holds a United States Soccer Federation 'A' Coaching License.

Born in Puerto Limón, Costa Rica, the native of Chicago, Illinois, was a college standout at George Mason University before embarking on his professional playing career with Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the old American Professional Soccer League in 1992. A defender, Hamlett also played professional indoor soccer for Harrisburg Heat and Anaheim Splash before finishing his playing career during the inaugural MLS season of 1996 after being selected 12th overall in the league's inaugural draft by Colorado Rapids. His efforts for Colorado that season earned him the BIC Tough Defender of the Year Award.

Miller, 46, played a pivotal role in helping the Whitecaps FC men's team concede a league low 22 goals and set a single-season club record of 18 shutouts during his first season with the Blue and White in 2010. Those coaching efforts, particularly on the defensive side, helped the 'Caps to a second-place finish in the NASL Conference of the United States Soccer Federation Division-2 Professional League (USSF D-2) and a semifinal berth in the playoffs.

Born in Law, Scotland, the former Canadian men's national team captain has over a decade of experience as a professional coach in Canada and the United Kingdom. This included roles with Scotland's Hamilton Academical, England's Derby County FC, and the Canadian men's and women's national teams. More recently, the native of East Vancouver served as head coach with the Abbotsford Soccer Association and United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League outfit Victoria Highlanders FC. Miller’s credentials include a Canadian Soccer Association 'A' License, as well as 'A' and 'B' Coaching Licenses from the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA).

Before embarking on a career in coaching, Miller enjoyed a long and distinguished playing career that spanned two decades in Canada, England, and Scotland.

Salmon, 46, will begin his fourth season with Whitecaps FC in 2011. The native of Leyland, England, was been instrumental in the career development of men's team goalkeeper Jay Nolly. Under Salmon, Nolly was named USSF D-2 Goalkeeper of the Year in 2010 and Whitecaps FC Most Valuable Player in 2009 and 2010. Salmon has also played a key role in the development of the club's keepers in both the first team and the Residency program since 2008.

Before taking on his current role at Whitecaps FC, Salmon served as the academy goalkeeper coach at English Premier League giants Arsenal FC and first-team goalkeeping coach at England's Gillingham FC. As a professional goalkeeper in his native England, Salmon spent over two decades at various league clubs. His most notable spell came with Charlton Athletic FC, where he made close to 150 appearances for The Addicks between 1989 and 1999. Salmon's credentials include an English Football Association Goalkeeping 'A' License and a UEFA 'A' Coaching License.

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