MLS – 25 Years On


March 1, 1996, I started as conditioning coach for the Tampa Bay Mutiny of the Major League Soccer. It was an exciting opportunity and challenge. I had just resigned my position as Director of Conditioning for the Chicago White Sox in Major League baseball. I had that position for nine years, during that time we had implemented an innovative program that teams are still trying to copy today.

Soccer was a new challenge, a new team in a new league. It was a great experience. The coaches were great and taught me about the game, as I had very little background in soccer. Thomas Rongen was the head coach; I am thankful to him for taking a chance and giving the opportunity. We had a veteran team Images (1)whose average age was 28. The players were great, they were receptive and open to new ideas and methods. It was a refreshing change from baseball. The players were invested in making the league work.

I worked with the Mutiny the next season and then the New England Revolution in 1998 and back with the Mutiny in 1999. It has been great to see the league grow and expand; it does not seem like 25 years. Onward and upward to the MLS.

Vern Gambetta

Vern Gambetta

Director at Gambetta Sports Training Systems
Vern is the Director of Gambetta Sports Training Systems. He has been the a conditioning coach for several MLS teams as well as the conditioning consultant to the US Men's World Cup Soccer team. Vern is the former Director of Conditioning for the Chicago White Sox and New York Mets. He has lectured and conducted clinics in Canada, Japan, Australia and Europe and has authored six books and over one hundred articles related to coaching and sport performance in a variety of sports. He has a BA in teaching with a coaching minor and an MA in Education with an emphasis in physical education from Stanford University.
Vern Gambetta


Athletic Development Coach & Consultant. Founder of GAIN Network. Proud dad. Love to read everything.
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Vern Gambetta

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