Gordon Bradley resigned yesterday as coach of The Cosmos of the North American Soccer League and was replaced immediately by former Tampa Bay Rowdies coach Eddie Firmani, who signed a three-year contract.
Firmani resigned as coach of the Rowdies on June 9, citing "personal reasons." Rumors around the league had him heading to New York. Bradley was making about $55,000 and Firmani will reportedly receive considerably more than that.
"We never beleived Firmani just resigned for personal reasons," a TampaBay spokesman said yesterday. "We thought all along he was going to the Cosmos. Apparently we were correct."
Firmani was under contract to Tampa Bay until two days ago. A Cosmos official said he and the Rowdies had worked out an agreement freeing him to join the Cosmos.
"That's not true," the Tampa bay spokesman said. "The Cosmos will compensate the Rowdies financially. There is cash involved and the terms will play an exhibition game next year, perhaps in one of the league's new cities."
Presumably, gate receipts from that game would go to Tampa Bay.
When the Washington Diplomats changed coaches last week after losing six of seven games, few people thought the switch would result in any real changes for the team.
Alan Spavin, the man given the job when Dennis Viollet resigned under pressure, had played for Viollet for four seasons and had been his assistant coach for three.
In fact, one of the first things Spavin said after taking over was, "I learned most of what I know about coaching from Dennis."
A week later, it is apparent that Spavin developed a few ideas of his own under Viollet. Although he has not tried to change Viollet's entire system in one week, hehas not stuck with what had been ineffective either.
Some of the changes Spavin has made include:
Moving the team out of its spacious locker room into smaller, adjoining locker room at RFK Stadium. Spavin wants more of an air of intimacy prior to and at halftime of a game.
Holding a cbrief workout for the team at RFK on thte same afternoon of the game. This way, he says players have "a feel" for field conditions when they come out to warm up. This move is more significant than it might seem. Because of their contract with the Armory Board, the Diplomats practice at RFK only once a week and any extra time on the field has to be helpful.
Installing a weight chart on his desk, which filled in twice a day. The players are required to weigh in and weigh out every day they are in Washington Spavin said he felt that several of he players were alittle overweight and had lost a step or two as a result.
Insisting that the players refer to him as "coach" in public. Spavin told the palyers they could call him anything they wanted to in practice.
GOing with the same 11 men for an entire game. Viollet almost always used two and sometimes three substitutes during a contest. Spavin started little-used Mark Liverie Monday night and made no substitution despite the intense heat.
Spavin said, "Mark has been complaining for a long time, saying he's the man for the job (left wing). I told him I was going to give him a chance to show me he was right."
Spavin also believes in being forthright.
Spavin has also talked with general manager John Carbray about the possibily of one of the older players taking over his reaponsibilities as assistant coach.
Whether or not someone will actually be given the title is still underdecided, but someone, possibly Eric MArtin. Johnny Kerr or Gray Darrell, will be asked to help out Spavin sometime in the next.
Quote-of-the-week award goes to Portland Timbers coach Brian Tiler. Explaining why he thought timeagainst Team Hawaii in Honolulu. Tiler said. "they're a very tough team at home. They have no pressere on them because they have no crowdto play to." Team Hawaii is averaging frwere than 5,000 fans per game.