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Mooch Myernick

Sport: Soccer

Born: December 29, 1954

Died: October 6, 2006

Town: Trenton

Glenn Myernick was born December 29, 1954 in Trenton. His sister nicknamed him “Mooch” as a boy and the name stuck for life. Mercer County was developing a reputation as something of a soccer hotbed during the 1960s and Mooch was an outstanding all-around player in youth leagues and later at Lawrence High School. The Cardinals reeled off three state titles in his first three years on the varsity, and he made All-State as a fullback his junior year and again as a striker his senior year. After one year playing at a local community college, Mooch joined the Hartwick College soccer team in Oneonta, New York.

The Hawks made it to the NCAA Tournament in each of Mooch’s three seasons, and graduated from Division II to Division I during his junior year. He played for two heralded coaches, at Hartwick, Timo Liekoski and Jim Lennox. Mooch was a second-team All-American in 1974 and won the Hermann Trophy in 1976 as the country’s top college player. During the 1975 season he spent time playing with Team USA as a midfielder in its bid to qualify for the 1976 Olympics.

In 1976, the North American Soccer League was building a solid following and the Dallas Tornado selected Mooch with the first overall pick in the draft. He teamed with fellow rookie Steve Pecher and superstar Kyle Rote Jr. to lead Dallas to a first-place finish in 1977. The Tornado fell one win short of reaching the Soccer Bowl championship game. In 1978, Mooch served as captain of the national team and would finish his Team USA career with 10 international caps. In 1980, Mooch was traded to the Portland Timbers, who immediately anointed him team captain. He was the team MVP in 1982. These were the waning years of the NASL and the Timbers left the league before the 1983 season. Mooch joined the Tampa Bay Rowdies and stayed with the club another year after the league folded in 1985.

Mooch moved into coaching in the mid-1980s, returning to his alma mater as an assistant in 1986. In 1996, he was asked to fulfill the same function on the Olympic team and again in 2002 and 2006 for the World Cup. He also was head coach of the 2004 U-23 team. From 1997 to 2000, Mooch was head coach of the MLS Colorado Rapids, and also built out their youth program. In 1997, despite a sub-.500 record, the Rapids went on a playoff run led by Paul Bravo and Chris Henderson. It took them all the way to the championship game. They lost the MLS Cup 2–1 to D.C. United. In 1999, the Rapids reached the final of the U.S. Open Cup, but lost again, this time in a 2–0 upset to the Rochester Raging Rhinos.

Mooch was working with the national team in the autumn of 2006 when he suffered a heart attack during a morning jog. He died on October 6. In 2015, he was enshrined in the National Soccer Hall of Fame.


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