February 16, 2001

Spirit Names Martin Vasquez As Assistant Coach

The San Diego Spirit of the new women's United Soccer Association (WUSA) named Martin Vasquez as the club's new assistant coach, General Manager Kevin Crow announced today.

Vasquez comes to the Spirit after an extensive playing career including stints with the Mexican National Team, the U.S. National Team, in the Mexican First Division and Major League Soccer. The coaching position with the Spirit will be his first at the professional level.

"Martin Vasquez brings 18 years of professional soccer experience to the Spirit," said Spirit Head Coach Carlos Juarez. "He was a superb professional in every sense of the word with his work ethic, training habits and perseverance. As a coach, he commands instant respect from the players because of his wealth of experience playing for excellent coaches and with great players. He will be a good role model for the players and without a doubt a great asset to our organization."

Vasquez, who has a USSF "B" coaching license, was the assistant coach under Juarez with the Cal Poly Pomona Men's and women's soccer programs the past two years. In addition to Cal Poly Pomona, he has also coaches the Damien High School Boy's team, located in La Verne, California, for two seasons, winning league titles both years.

Vasquez, 37, began his professional outdoor soccer career playing two seasons with the Hollywood Kickers and California Kickers of the Western Soccer League. He moved to Mexico where his first three years (1987-'89) was spent with Universidad de Guada-lajara. In 1990-'91, he played with Puebla before moving to Veracruz for one season. Vasquez' last four seasons in the Mexican First Division were spent with Atlas. In all, he played eight seasons in the Mexican First Division, playing over 300 league games for four clubs.

His play in the Mexican First Division led to ten appearances with the Mexican National Team at the end of 1993 and beginning of 1994. Vasquez also played for the U.S. National Team in 1996-'97, realizing his dream on December 21, 1996, when he started at sweeper for U.S. National Team in 2-2 tie with Guatemala in a CONCACAF World Cup qualifier at San Salvador, El Salvador. In two years, he played and started in seven matches for the U.S. National Team.

During his Major League Soccer career from 1996-'98, he played for the Tampa Bay Mutiny and San Jose Clash. He was one of the top defensive midfielders in the league, leading Tampa Bay to the playoffs in 1996 and 1997. His performance during the 1996 season earned him a spot in the 1996 MLS All-Star Game.

Prior to going to Mexico, Vasquez played two seasons indoors with the Los Angeles Lazers of the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) in 1984-'85 and with the Memphis Storm of the American Indoor Soccer Association (AISA) in 1985-'86. Vasquez played three years at Cal State-Los Angeles, leading the NCAA Division II in scoring as a freshman with 29 goals in 23 matches. He was named a Division II All-American that year. As a sophomore, he led the league in scoring with 20 goals and 17 assists.

Juarez will soon name a goalkeeper coach to complete his staff.

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