Buzz Lagos Retires
CHICAGO (Oct. 21, 2005) - We understand. You have a life. Between your job, school, taking care of the kids, and hanging out with friends and family, you don’t always get the chance to watch the other professional soccer leagues in the United States. That’s why we’re here. This section provides you with a quick recap of something exciting, intriguing or just off-the-wall going on in leagues like the MISL, USL (First and Second Divison), PDL, W-League and Super Y-League.
Oct. 21, 2005
We understand. You have a life. Between your job, school, taking care of the kids and hanging out with friends and family, you don’t always get the chance to watch the other professional soccer leagues in the United States. That’s why we’re here. This section provides you with a quick recap of something exciting, intriguing or just off-the-wall going on in leagues like the MISL, USL (First and Second Divison), PDL, W-League and Super Y-League.
Most people in soccer circles know the man, the coach, the Minnesota legend. Others have at least have heard the name. Heck, it’s not easy to forget.
But for those of you that don’t know about Buzz, well, you should.
You should know that he helped found the Minnesota Thunder and then coached the squad for 16 years, before deciding to step down this past season.
You should know that during those 16 seasons, he helped the team become one of the most well-known and competitive soccer teams in the entire United States (compiling 320 wins, 145 losses and 42 draws…but you shouldn’t be forced to know that much detail).
You should know his Thunder teams struck fear into MLS squads as he accumulated numerous impressive Open Cup victories over top division foes, including 2005 when the Thunder went on a semifinal run that culminated in his last gasp as a head coach. (The Thunder defeated Real Salt Lake, Colorado and Kansas City by a combined score of 13-6 before falling to the L.A. Galaxy).
If you knew these things, give yourself a pat on the back. If you didn’t, shame on you. But, to be fair, we’re not here to lecture you on what you should know. Nope, we’re here to inform you so you're a better educated, well-rounded soccer fan.
In that respect, we’ve got some more tidbits on the now-retired coach that even some of the biggest Buzz fans might not know. In a sort of tribute to Buzz and everything he’s done for the game in the U.S., here’s info on the man who created the Thunder:
- Buzz didn’t get into the sport of soccer until his 20s, when he started playing while working toward a Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota in 1966.
- Two of his sons, Manny and Gerard, were members of U.S. Soccer’s youth national teams. Gerard was on the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team that finished in fourth place at the 1989 FIFA World Youth Championship in Saudi Arabia – still the U.S. U-20s best-ever finish. Manny was a member of the 1992 Olympic Team in Barcelona and scored the winning goal in a 3-1 victory over Kuwait.
- He became the first Minnesota coach to earn a USSF "A" license.
- He helped mold future first-division pros such as Tony Sanneh (who also played in the 2002 World Cup), Amos Magee, Tom Presthus, Leo Cullen and even his son, Manny.
- Before coaching the Thunder, he compiled an amazing 256-55-35 record at St. Paul Academy High School, winning four Minnesota state titles.
- In addition to coaching, Buzz played a key role in the front office, selling sponsorships, organizing youth clinics and pitching season tickets.
- Over the last nine years, he has made at least one appearance at every week-long youth camp that the Thunder has hosted, which is more than 30 camps each summer, and during some weeks there are four going on at once.
- He helped guide the Minnesota Thunder to the USL finals in six of the last 12 seasons, winning it all in 1999.
- He has eight children and 23 grandchildren.
We said you should get to know the man, the coach, the Minnesota legend, and now you do. You can thank us later.