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U.S. Soccer Names Peter Nowak Assistant Coach of U.S. Under-23 MNT

CHICAGO (December 21, 2006) – U.S. Soccer has named Peter Nowak the assistant coach of the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team. The 42-year-old Nowak, who coached D.C. United to an MLS Cup title in 2004, is being reunited with U.S. National Team head coach Bob Bradley, having captained the Chicago Fire for five years from 1998-2002 while Bradley served as head coach.

"I am incredibly excited about the opportunity to work with Peter again. There is a great level of trust and understanding between us,” said Bradley. “When we first met nine years ago in Munich, it was clear that we shared the same vision about how the game of soccer is played and what is needed to be a successful team. Peter brings a wealth of international experience along with a passion for the sport in this country, and he will be an invaluable resource to our national team programs.”

In addition to his duties of helping prepare the U.S. team for Olympic qualifying for the 2008 Beijing games, Nowak will assist Bradley with the full national team, beginning Jan. 4 in Carson, Calif. The USA’s first training camp of the year will serve as preparation for friendlies on Jan. 20 vs. Denmark (tickets) at The Home Depot Center and Feb. 7 vs. Mexico at University of Phoenix Stadium (tickets).

"It is an honor and a privilege to work with the U.S. national teams," said Nowak. "I am especially happy to be back together with Bob. We built a great relationship in Chicago, and he was instrumental in encouraging me to get into coaching. This is the next step in my coaching career, and a new chapter in my life. I have never shied away from challenges, and I am looking forward to joining U.S. Soccer at such an important time."

A former captain of the Polish national team, Nowak’s professional career spanned 23 years and five countries. He made 24 international appearances for Poland, scoring three career goals. He was named Poland’s Player of the Year in 1996 and served as captain of the national squad for three years. In 2005, he was named a member of the MLS All-Time Best XI.

Nowak began his playing career in his native Poland in 1979 when he was just 15. After stops in Turkey and Switzerland, he moved to Germany and Dynamo Dresden before joining Bundesliga side FC Kaiserslautern in 1994. Transferring to 1860 Munich the following year, he earned Best Playmaker of the Year honors for the 1995-96 season.

Following his time in Germany, Nowak was brought by Bradley to the expansion Chicago Fire in 1998, making an immediate impact as the Fire won the Double in 1998 with MLS Cup and U.S. Open Cup titles. For five years, Nowak patrolled the midfield for the Fire, being named to the MLS Best XI three times and leading the Fire to another Open Cup title in 2000.

After working in the Fire front office for one year following his retirement, Nowak was named head coach of D.C. United in January 2004. In his first year, Nowak led his team to a 3-2 victory in MLS Cup against the Kansas City Wizards after the team had finished no better than fourth in the Eastern Conference for the previous four years. In three years with United, Nowak led the team to a combined 42-27-25 regular season record, including winning the Supporters’ Shield for best regular season record in 2006 with a 15-7-10 record.