After helping the Atlanta Silverbacks turn their 2012 season around, head coach Brian Haynes has been awarded a contract extension, the club announced Friday.
“I’m absolutely thrilled about this opportunity, and I’m just excited to get back to work and keep things headed in the right direction,” Haynes said. “I owe a big thanks to Silverbacks management and Eric Wynalda for bringing me here, and I look forward to putting a great product on the field next season – something that will make the city of Atlanta want to come out and see us play.”
Haynes, 50, initially joined the Silverbacks organization as an assistant coach on July 11, serving under interim head coach Eric Wynalda. When it was time for Wynalda to return to his duties as a TV analyst for FOX Soccer, the former U.S. Men’s National Team star, along with general manager Andy Smith and chairman Boris Jerkunica, selected Haynes as his replacement.
“When Brian was initially brought in as an assistant, Eric had identified him as a great candidate for the head coaching position, and he couldn’t have been more right,” said Silverbacks General Manager Andy Smith. “The players respond positively to Brian’s coaching style and the results at the end of this past season speak volumes about our potential going into 2013.”
The Couva, Trinidad native assumed the club’s head coaching role on August 16, and picked up his first official win in charge when the team topped FC Edmonton, 2-0, at Clarke Stadium on September 2. Haynes ended up coaching the final seven games of the regular season, posting three wins, three ties, and one loss – a record that included an undefeated September.
“The team’s record and quality of play under Brian’s leadership spoke for itself,” said Silverbacks Chairman Boris Jerkunica. “As next season approaches, we’re very excited to give him the opportunity to lead this team and pick up right where he left off.”
A former Trinidad and Tobago international, Haynes played professionally as midfielder from 1989-2000. He was selected by the Dallas Burn in Major League Soccer’s inaugural draft in 1996, and it was in Dallas where he would spend four seasons, appearing in nearly 80 games for the club.
Haynes remained with the Burn (later became FC Dallas) as an assistant coach from 2001-2007, helping guide the team to a pair of U.S. Open Cup finals and a regular season championship. He also served as the head coach of the Real Colorado Cougars of the W-League from 2007-2008.
Many Atlanta soccer fans may know Haynes from the time he spent with the Atlanta Attack, a professional indoor team that used to play their home games at the Omni in downtown Atlanta. He started his career with the Attack in 1989, meaning his recent position with the Silverbacks has brought his career full circle.
Haynes will be working with Silverbacks management, including Wynalda, who serves as a team advisor, to make all personnel decisions going into the 2013 NASL season.