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Bob Gansler

Personal information
Full nameRobert Gansler
Date of birthJuly 1, 1941(age 75)
Place of birthMucsi, Hungary
Playing positionDefender

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Bob Gansler (born July 1, 1941 in Mucsi, Hungary) is a Hungarian-born American soccer player and coach of German descent. He coached the US National Team at the 1990 World Cup, the team's first appearance at the tournament since 1950.

Gansler spent the 2007 MLS Season in Canada as an assistant coach for Toronto FC. He left the team after their successful first season to spend more time with his wife, Nancy, four sons, and six grandchildren. Previously, Gansler coached the Kansas City Wizards, winning the club's first MLS Cup in 2000 and the US Open Cup in 2004. He also coached the Milwaukee Rampage to the A-League title in 1997. He stepped down from his coaching position with the Wizards on July 19, 2006.

As a player, Gansler made 25 appearances for the United States between 1963 and 1969, captaining the 1964 and 1968 Olympic and 1967 Pan American Teams. Of his 25 appearances, only 5, all in 1968, came in games considered full internationals.

Gansler played for the Chicago Spurs of the National Professional Soccer League in 1967. When the NPSL merged with the United Soccer Association to form the North American Soccer League, the Spurs likewise merged with the Chicago Mustangs, and Gansler played with the Mustangs of the NASL in 1968.

Gansler served in various coaching positions with the national teams beginning in 1975. In the late 1980s, he served as the coach of the U.S. U-20 national team while also coaching the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee men's soccer team. On January 16, 1989, the United States Soccer Federation hired him as the full time coach for the United States men's national soccer team, replacing Lothar Osiander. Gansler's tenure during the 1990 FIFA World Cup was somewhat controversial. He took a team made up primarily of college and amateur players, leaving professionals such as Rick Davis and Hugo Perez off the roster. At the time, the United States did not have a top division outdoor soccer league, the North American Soccer League having folded in 1985. Most domestic professionals at the time played in indoor leagues, and Gansler felt that the skills required for indoor soccer conflicted with the outdoor game. In addition, the United States had been awarded the 1994 World Cup, and Gansler may have wanted to expose the core of the 1994 team to the World Cup experience. Not unexpectedly, the U.S. lost all three games, although the team won a moral victory of sorts by losing to host Italy 1 0; the Italians prevented the embarrassment of a draw thanks to goalkeeper Walter Zenga.

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