The Houston Dynamo officially announced on Thursday that former Revolution midfielder Steve Ralston will join the team as an assistant coach.
Ralston, who served as a player-coach for AC St. Louis earlier this year, retired before New England's final SuperLiga game against Morelia on Tuesday. The MLS original will be taking the place of longtime assistant John Spencer, who left the Dynamo last week for personal reasons.
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“He’s been a fantastic player over the years,” said Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear, who played with Ralston for three seasons with the Tampa Bay Mutiny. “Being friends with him, we’ve talked soccer a lot, and I have a lot of respect for his views on the game. He’s a person of excellent character, and he’s very honest and loyal, and for me that makes a great addition to the staff.”
Dynamo players were equally excited about their new assistant coach, who enters with the respect of several veterans that he has played against over the years.
“I think it’s great,” Dynamo midfielder Brad Davis said. “He’s been a great ambassador to this league and a great player, and I think he’s got a great soccer mind.”
Davis has known Ralston for several years, as they both come from the same city and share several similar interests.
“He’s a St. Louis guy who I’ve hung out with quite a bit,” noted Davis. “He’s a big outdoors guy as well, so I think he’ll enjoy it [in Houston]. He’ll definitely be looking forward to taking the next step, and I know he’s wanted to coach. I’m looking forward to it, since I think he’s a great guy and the guys will really like him.”
Ralston’s MLS résumé is second to none. He is the career Major League Soccer leader in games, starts, minutes played, and assists. The seven-time All-Star has been instrumental to the New England Revolution's success over the last nine years, including four appearances in the MLS Cup final.
“In terms of MLS experience, I don’t think there is anyone out there that has done what he’s done,” defender Bobby Boswell said. “Bringing someone in with that type of knowledge and experience is great for everyone, and I know that he and coach Dominic Kinnear have been good friends for years, so we're excited to have him on board.”
Dwain Capodice is a contributor to MLSsoccer.com. Questions or Comments can be sent via email to email@example.com.