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10 Questions With... Keith Tozer - U.S. National Soccer Players
Thursday, 22 July 2010 11:05
futsalwireU.S. National Soccer PlayersOver the past three decades, owners and fans have come and gone, but Tozer, who also coaches the US National Futsal Team, has been one of the few to remain ...

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July 22, 2010 10 Questions With...

Keith Tozer By Clemente Lisi - NEW YORK, NY (Jul 22, 2010) US Soccer Players -- With an astonishing 617-382 record, Keith Tozer is the most successful coach in North American indoor soccer history.

Tozer, who has served as a head coach for the past 26 years, has called Milwaukee home for 18 of them.

As coach and vice-president of team operations for the Milwaukee Wave, Tozer, 53, guided the franchise to titles in 1998, 2000, 2001 and 2005.

He came close to adding a fifth this past April, but fell short after losing the MISL championship game at home to Monterrey La Raza.

The Wave continues to attract fans to its frenetic, end-to-end brand of indoor soccer, while also spreading the sport to new generations through its successful summer camp programs.

Over the past three decades, owners and fans have come and gone, but Tozer, who also coaches the US National Futsal Team, has been one of the few to remain loyal to the franchise.

Like many great coaches, Tozer started off as a player.

The Cincinnati Kids drafted Tozer in 1978, but after his first season in the Major Indoor Soccer League the team folded and he was forced to move outdoors with the Pennsylvania Stoners of the American Soccer League.

He moved back indoors, playing with the Hartford Hellions and the Pittsburgh Spirit, before signing on as player/coach of the Louisville Thunder of the then-MISL rival American Indoor Soccer Association in 1984.

Tozer retired from playing in 1990 and took the Wave coaching job two years later.

I caught up with Tozer, where the legendary coach discussed the importance of the MISL, why indoor players dont often get the respect they deserve and the US Futsal Teams lack of success over the past few years.

You have had a very successful time playing, and later coaching, indoor soccer.

What is the secret to your success? Passion, hard work, preparation and sweating the details.

Milwaukee is a city that has embraced the indoor game.

Why has it worked there, but not in other cities? The team has been here 26 years and has a very good reputation for winning and servicing their customers.

The name MISL made a return last season and that brand name has been very important to the history of American soccer.

Were you happy to see the name return? I was very relieved to have the MISL back as I did not like the other names from last year.

It was very important, in my opinion, as it keeps all the records and individuals intact.

Have you ever considered coaching an outdoor team? I have on several occasions.

Unfortunately some people have tagged me as an indoor coach and I am also very privileged to be coaching the Wave for all these years.

How is the indoor game different from outdoors on a coaching level? If you are looking for a right-sided midfielder, for example, for the outdoor game you can go anywhere in the world to find one.

Secondly, even though you still have to teach and coach that player its more about managing as everyone plays outdoor.

Then you do all your work during the week and make some adjustments during the game.

Indoor is a lot of teaching the game, which takes about three years to really understand.

Then you have to coach the game similar to a basketball coach.

You have been involved with the US National Futsal Team since 1996.

Can the US ever win a world title? We will first need to get our players to play overseas professionally similar to how the outdoor players did before MLS was created here in the US.

We will need a U-20, U-18 team along with the full mens national team, then a professional league of some kind.

Other countries have all these as their players play about 100-plus futsal games a year.

As far as the national team, we have played none since the 2008 World Cup.

You also own a motivational speaking company.

Who are your clients and what sorts of people need you to give them a pep talk? Northwestern Mutual Life, Ryder Truck, Briggs & Stratton, Brunswick Mercury Marine just to name a few.

Coaching is no different the being a manager in any other corporation or industry.

I do motivate, but also teach tools.

You are now on Facebook and Twitter.

What do you make of this new technology and do you use it to communicate with this countrys growing soccer community? The new era is upon us and in order to get your product or service out companies will need to have these tools as part of the social media.

Victor Nogueira, who you backed for the Hall of Fame this past year, didn't make it in.

Do you thing there is a bias against indoor players in the Hall of Fame balloting process? I dont think there is a bias, but I do think indoor people are looked over sometimes.

Look at some indoor stars that went on to MLS or other important soccer positions.

Preki, a two-time MLS MVP, got his start indoor.

Fernando Clavijo, member of the US National team and former coach of the Colorado Rapids, Peter Vermes and Zoran Savic in Kansas City, David Casper at DC United, Danny Donigan at Rutgers, Sacho Ciroski at Maryland, and the list goes on and on.

What are your thoughts on losing the championship game? To have someone celebrate in your own building is pretty tough.Clemente Lisi is the author of A History of the World Cup: 1930-2006.

His new book "The US Women's Soccer Team: An American Success Story" will be available in June.

Contact him at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Follow him on Twitter at: twitter.com/ClementeLisi 02:00 PM in Clemente Lisi | Permalink Reblog (0) | | Digg This | | Comments 10 Questions With...

Keith Tozer By Clemente Lisi - NEW YORK, NY (Jul 22, 2010) US Soccer Players -- With an astonishing 617-382 record, Keith Tozer is the most successful coach in North American indoor soccer history.

Tozer, who has served as a head coach for the past 26 years, has called Milwaukee home for 18 of them.

As coach and vice-president of team operations for the Milwaukee Wave, Tozer, 53, guided the franchise to titles in 1998, 2000, 2001 and 2005.

He came close to adding a fifth this past April, but fell short after losing the MISL championship game at home to Monterrey La Raza.

The Wave continues to attract fans to its frenetic, end-to-end brand of indoor soccer, while also spreading the sport to new generations through its successful summer camp programs.

Over the past three decades, owners and fans have come and gone, but Tozer, who also coaches the US National Futsal Team, has been one of the few to remain loyal to the franchise.

Like many great coaches, Tozer started off as a player.

The Cincinnati Kids drafted Tozer in 1978, but after his first season in the Major Indoor Soccer League the team folded and he was forced to move outdoors with the Pennsylvania Stoners of the American Soccer League.

He moved back indoors, playing with the Hartford Hellions and the Pittsburgh Spirit, before signing on as player/coach of the Louisville Thunder of the then-MISL rival American Indoor Soccer Association in 1984.

Tozer retired from playing in 1990 and took the Wave coaching job two years later.

I caught up with Tozer, where the legendary coach discussed the importance of the MISL, why indoor players dont often get the respect they deserve and the US Futsal Teams lack of success over the past few years.

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