Former New Jersey Ironmen coach Omid Namazi has been named an assistant coach of the Iranian National team.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
Former New Jersey Ironmen coach Omid Namazi has been named an assistant coach of the Iranian National team, and will work under head coach Carlos Queiroz.
“This is a great opportunity for me to work alongside one of the best coaches in the World, so I'm excited and look forward to the qualification process for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil,” Namazi said in an e-mail.
Namazi joins another coach with U.S. ties on the Iranian staff, former University of Hartford coach Dan Gaspar, who was recently named to the staff by Queiroz, who coached the MetroStars in 1996.
Namazi, who played college soccer at West Virginia and then played outdoors in the American Soccer League with the Maryland Bays, Washington Diplomats and Fort Lauderdale Strikers, had a brief stint with the MetroStars in 1996, the year Queiroz coached them.
Namazi spent much of his playing career indoors, in the Major Indoor Soccer League and National Professional Soccer League. His first coaching stint came with the Philadelphia Kixx, where he led the team to postseason appearances every season he was at the helm, from 1996 to 2002. Under his direction, the Kixx were two-time regular season champion, in 1997-98 and 1998-99, and MISL Champions in 2001-2002.
After his one season with the Women’s United Soccer Association’s San Diego Spirit, Namazi returned to indoor soccer, leading the Cleveland Force to the MISL Championship series in 2004 and then the St. Louis Steamers to title series the following year. Both teams folded before the following season, and Namazi then spent three years coaching the New Jersey Ironmen in the MISL and the Xtreme Soccer League, before they ceased operations.
He was named coach of the Chicago Red Stars part of the way through the 2010 season, and engineered a turnaround. That club dropped out of the league at the end of the season.
Though born in the United States, Namazi lived in Tehran, Iran from the age of six until he was 18.