Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Brian Bliss Named Sporting KC's Director of Player Personnel

Sporting Kansas City made an addition to their technical staff today when the club hired former player, assistant coach, and interim head coach Brian Bliss as the club's first Director of Player Personnel. Bliss spent one season in Kansas City as a player back in 1998, appearing just three times after being acquired from New York in the offseason. After his playing career was done Bliss moved into coaching, first in the A-League before joining the Kansas City Wizards as part of Bob Gansler's staff. Bliss was an assist with KC from 2000 until 2006 when he was named interim head coach after the departure of Gansler going 4-4-6 when in charge of the team.

When Kansas City named Curt Oanlfo as the club's permanent head coach, Bliss spent a year as the State Director of Coaching for Kansas Youth Soccer before taking the Technical Director role with the Columbus Crew. He was in that role through the 2013 season when he also spent time as the club's interim head coach. When he was let go by the Crew after the season he took the same position with the Chicago Fire and last year again took the role as interim head coach after the firing of Frank Yallop. For the third time he was passed over for the permanent head coaching job with the Fire, but retained his Technical Director role until leaving for his new position in Kansas City.

In his new role with Sporting, Bliss will oversee player personnel matters while assisting in scouting for Peter Vermes. He'll also share a player assessment role for not just Sporting Kansas City, but for the Swope Park Rangers and the Sporting Academy as well. This as a whole is a good move for KC. With two professional teams and an academy to watch over, giving Vermes more professional help that has an eye for talent evaluating the available talent is certainly a plus for Kansas City as a whole. Bliss was in charge of the Crew when they brought in the likes of Will Trapp from their academy and Federico Higuain as a designated player so he's had success from multiple areas while recruiting players. The move also gives Kansas City three veterans from the 1990 USA World Cup team on their staff with Vermes, Bliss, and Desmond Armstrong working with the Sporting academy and affiliates.

From some comments I've read from a few Fire fans they felt that Bliss was the only one under the old regime that actually listened to the players and had the players back. So while the Fire was a dumpster fire at times last season, Bliss seems to be one of the bright spots for them.

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