Colorado Soccer Community Mourns Ex-Rapids Head Coach Glenn "Mooch" Myernick

DENVER (From Rapids and US Soccer Reports)- Glenn "Mooch" Myernick head coach of the Colorado Rapids from 1997-2000 and a longtime assistant coach for the U.S. men's national team passed away this morning after suffering a heart attack on Thursday near his home in Colorado.

Myernick 51 died peacefully surrounded by his wife Nancy daughter Kelly and son Travis at the North Suburban Medical Center in Thornton. The family wishes to express their extreme gratitude for the outpouring of support they’ve received over the past few days from people around Colorado and the country. Funeral arrangements will be private and a celebration of the life of Mooch will be planned in the near future.

"This is truly a sad day for the Rapids organization as well as for the entire American soccer community said Colorado Rapids Managing Director Jeff Plush.

"Mooch was one of the most respected influential and beloved leaders in soccer in the United States and he certainly will be missed especially here in his home state where he was involved in so many levels of the sport in Colorado. He was bigger than life and made an impact on so many levels first as a player then as a head coach with the Rapids and then finally as an integral part of the recent success of the US Men's National Team. Our prayers are with the entire Myernick family and the Rapids organization is here for them in their time of need."

The Colorado Rapids have been in communication with the Myernick family throughout this ordeal and encourage fans wishing to send any cards gifts or messages to the Myernick family to direct them to the care of the Colorado Rapids at the address below; the club will collect items and forward them on to the family.

Per the Myernick's family request in lieu of flowers fans can instead make a donation to the a charitable fund set up in his honor which will be donated to a cause to be chosen by the family in the future. These monetary donations can be sent to the address below and donors should make checks payable to the Colorado Rapids Community Care Foundation and reference the Mooch Myernick Memorial Fund.

Fans should address such items t
Colorado Rapids Community Relations Dept.
Attn: Mooch Myernick Memorial
1000 Chopper Circle
Denver CO 80204
or send any email messages to rapidsfanmail@pepsicenter.com.

One of the most respected and admired personalities in American soccer Mooch coached the Colorado Rapids for four seasons from 1997-2000. One of MLS’s all-time winningest coaches with a 63-61-4 record in Colorado Myernick inherited a Rapids team that failed to the make the playoffs in 1996.

In his first season with the Rapids the team went on a fantastic run all the way to the MLS title game winning all four of their playoff games along the way. In MLS Cup ’97 Colorado fell to Bruce Arena and D.C. United (in DC's home stadium) the Rapids' only loss of the 1997 playoffs.

Myernick guided the Rapids to the playoffs in each of his four years with the team. The Rapids' best regular season came under Myernick in 1999 when he guided the squad to a 20-12 regular season record and to the championship game of the 1999 US Open Cup. At the midpoint of that season the Rapids had the best record in the West and Myernick was honored as the Western Conference head coach at the All-Star Game (the West won) the only time a Rapids coach has held that distinction.

Myernick also served as the right-hand man to USA manager Bruce Arena at the past two World Cups. Glenn Myernick has a soccer background that few U.S.-born coaches can rival. Myernick first shined on the soccer field before moving to the other side of the touchline and becoming one of the USA’s most respected coaches. He is one of two U.S. coaches to play on and then later coach both the U.S. Men’s National Team and the U.S. Men’s Olympic Team.

The loss of Myernick an assistant coach for the USA at the last two FIFA World Cups is the loss of an American soccer pioneer who represented the U.S. at every level as a player and a coach across a lifetime of soccer success.

"Glenn Myernick was a player and coach deeply passionate about soccer and life said U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati. "Whether it was family friends or soccer ‘Mooch’ was the kind of person that embraced everything in life loving every minute of it. He will truly be missed by all of us in the U.S. Soccer family and our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Nancy and his children at this difficult time."

"On behalf of Major League Soccer’s players coaches administrators and ownership I would like to offer the sincerest condolences to the entire Myernick family said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. "Mooch will be dearly missed and his passion spirit and sincerity will never be forgotten."

In addition to being an integral part of the USA’s quarterfinal run at the 2002 FIFA World Cup Myernick had a standout collegiate career at Hartwick College in Oneonta N.Y. winning the Hermann Trophy as the sport’s outstanding player in 1976. He also starred in the NASL with numerous teams earning MVP honors for the Portland Timbers in 1982.

Myernick played more games for the U.S. National Team than any other U.S. National Team coach serving as team captain in 1978 and compiling 10 caps. He also started four games for the U.S. Olympic Team in qualifying for the 1976 Games.

"We lost a great person today said former U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Bruce Arena. "He was an unbelievable husband and father and the finest soccer person I've ever come across in the United States. He was an amazing resource for soccer in this country. He will be sorely missed. My heart and thoughts are with his wife Nancy and children Kelly and Travis and the rest of his family."

He began his international coaching career as an assistant for the U.S. Under-20 National Team in 1993 at the FIFA World Youth Championship in Australia and then coached the U-17s at the FIFA U-17 World Championship in Ecuador.

Myernick took over as the head coach of the U.S. Under-23 Men's National Team in 2002 guiding the team’s efforts to qualify for the 2004 Olympics.

Myernick was affectionately known to many as "Mooch a nickname that was given to him years ago by his sister for his antics that reminded her of the Walt Disney character "Moochie" of Mickey Mouse Club fame. He is survived by his family of his wife Nancy their son Travis and daughter Kelly who reside in Denver.