It was a long time ago but I remember my first soccer camp very clearly. I started out my soccer career training as a goalkeeper at the age of 10. My coach for the camp was an aspiring young American named Danny Gaspar. Danny was a former professional keeper from the old American Professional Soccer League. For the next five days Coach Gaspar would train myself and two other keepers very hard. I came away from the camp enjoying the training I got and liking Danny as person. That camp would not be the last time I would meet up with Danny though. When I was in my mid to late twenties I would occasionally train as a practice player against the United States Soccer League Connecticut Wolves team who Danny coached. Then ten years later our paths would cross once again. I would bring the college team I was coaching to Connecticut to play against the University of Hartford Hawks, where Danny served as the Head Coach. After that I would see him at the College National Soccer Championships in Tyler, Texas. There he would give me some advice on pre-game team preparation before big games which I use with all my teams to this very day. Danny is basically a Connecticut soccer legend and one I was grateful to have been able to learn from. But I always wondered why so very few people have heard about Danny. How many American Coaches have a well rounded global international coaching resume? Bruce Arena never really played the game of soccer. Bob Bradley was the Head Coach at a college. What other high profile American Coaches are out there? Some MLS teams basically give out Head Coaching jobs to former players with no coaching experience. We don’t seem to treat coaching as a profession here in American at the moment. But then we have guys like Danny Gaspar.
Let’s take a quick look at Danny Gaspar’s soccer resume. He was the first American to Coach full-time in Europe at Benfica, Sporting and FC Porto in the Portuguese First Division. He would then move on to coach at Grampus Eight in the Japanese J-League, Assistant Coach of South African National Team & Keeper Coach for the NY Red Bulls in the MLS. Add to that Danny would go onto Coach in multiple World Cups for Portugal & Iran, along side Felip Scolari and Carlos Queiroz. My questions is why wouldn’t ESPN and ABC feature the success of American Coach like Danny who is with Iran at the World Cup in Brazil right now. The next question I would have is: How does US Soccer not have Danny on the shortlist for a Job with the United States? His name has never even been mentioned from what I can tell. I know Bradley is in Norway now and before that Egypt. I really do respect what Bradley is doing now with getting international coaching experience. However, Danny has been doing that for the last 20 years. At the very least shouldn’t the President of US Soccer offer Danny Gaspar the most experienced international coach from America something? Danny is the American who traveled and learned the game all over the world when no other American Coach did. But I never hear anything about him from US Soccer or the Media. Why not is my question? How about a serious mention of this during the World Cup coverage by Lalas or others? Picture Below is of Danny