Wed, Oct 17, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Star soccer coach said to seek Taiwan spot

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Philippines head coach Thomas Dooley speaks at a news conference after their AFC Asian Cup qualification final-round match against Tajikistan at Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila on March 27. The Philippines qualified for next year’s AFC Asian Cup for the first time after defeating Tajikistan 2-1.

Photo: EPA-EFE

Taiwan soccer might gain a prominent international star with a championship pedigree to coach the national squad.

Thomas Dooley, a former US team captain who later became Jurgen Klinsmann’s assistant on the US team and most recently guided the Philippines through qualifying for their first-ever Asian Cup, has shown interest in becoming head coach of the men’s national team after his agent sent his resume to the Chinese Taipei Football Association (CTFA), a source who is active in Taiwan’s soccer scene said.

Dooley would be the biggest name to ever take charge of the national team, and would certainly boost soccer development in Taiwan, as he has decades of experience playing and coaching at the top levels of the German Bundesliga and US Major League Soccer, as the source told the Taipei Times.

Soccer aficionados might recognize the unique qualifications that Dooley would bring to Taiwan, as he played in two World Cups in the 1990s and won European championships when he played for clubs in the Bundesliga.

Born in Germany to a German mother and an American father, Dooley was an integral member of Kaiserslautern, who won the DFB Pokal in 1990 and captured the Bundesliga title in 1991.

Later, he moved to Bayer 04 Leverkusen and then to Schalke 04, helping the club to win the 1997 UEFA Cup on penalties over Inter, after knocking out Tenerife, Valencia, Club Brugge and other big European teams on the way to the title.

A wider soccer audience might remember that as a defensive midfielder on the US national team, Dooley played among prominent stars in every match of the 1994 USA World Cup finals and, as the US captain, played in all the US’ matches at the 1998 France World Cup finals.

Dooley finished four years as the head coach of the Philippines national squad in March, the source said.

CTFA chairman Chiou I-jen last week said that the organization is earnestly looking for a qualified coach who could make Taiwan competitive at an international level.

Impatient to find a coach for next month’s matches, the CTFA is mulling hiring a Taiwanese coach, Chiou said, but added that officials and fans have urged the organization to take a leap forward and to hire an internationally recognized coach with a winning track record.

Dooley could fit the bill.

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