Part 3: Mooch was competitive as all coaches are
The tribute to Glenn Myernick continues:
PIERRE BARRIEU, strength and conditioning coach, U.S. national team:
I remember the soccer tennis games.
The "staff jogs" where he would pick up the pace at the end.
Before every fitness session, he would come to me at some point during practice and say,
"Pierre, what do you think? Can I do it? If the answer was yes, he would fit right in with the players. Most of the time the answer was no and he would:
1. See if he could help motivate a few players by running with them for as long as he could.
2. Run his own thing, always pushing himself to his max.
TAYLOR TWELLMAN, forward, New England Revolution and U.S. national team:
It's 7 a.m. and we are a week into double-days. I try to walk downstairs to breakfast at the Manhattan Beach Marriott with my aching body, dreading what workout Pierre has planned for us today, and when I get there, I see Mooch has already worked out, showered and finished 100 crosswords before I had even taken my first bite of food.
If I got anything from Mooch, it was that each and every day is a beautiful thing and that I should take advantage of the time that I have. I'm going to miss him.
PHIL WHEDDON:, goalkeeper coach, U.S. national team:
There are only a few people that you come across in your life where you step back and value every moment that you spend with them. There are few people that you come across in your life that are genuine, caring and respectful. There are few people that you come across in your life that always put other people before themselves. There are also only a few people that you come across in your life that value family and friendship and show passion and pride in everything that they do. Mooch was one of the few.
In my time with the men's national team, Mooch accepted me and shared his thoughts, experiences and knowledge with me. Whether it was hiking in the hills of Colorado or tasting wine in the many establishments in Manhattan Beach, Mooch was always willing to share his life in any capacity.
|Glenn Myernick Tribute|
|Glenn Myernick was an assistant coach for the U.S. national team. He also formerly coached the Colorado Rapids in MLS.|
During his national team playing career, Myernick earned 10 caps and served as the squad's captain in 1978. During his college career, he won the 1976 Hermann Trophy, and he later played eight seasons in the NASL.
On Oct. 9, 2006, Myernick passed away at the age of 51 after failing to regain consciousness after a heart attack. He is survived by his wife, Nancy, their son, Travis, and daughter, Kelly.
ESPNsoccernet will be publishing a tribute by Jimmy Conrad and friends to the Glenn Myernick this week. The five-part feature will run daily.
• Friday: The scout's side
• Saturday: The family man
We have all shared moments with this incredible man, whether it is as a crossword genius or doing the many hundred sit-ups in the gym. There were many days that Mooch and I went to the gym at some ridiculous time in the morning to get the day started with a nice easy hour or so of sweat, exhaustion and pain. If there was no gym, it would be a run or a bike ride or something that he would approach with the energy and enthusiasm of a 22-year-old rookie fighting for a place in the first team.
This tragedy has come as a shock to us all. There is no rhyme or reason, and it has left many of us, myself included, saying "Is this really happening?" It has taken me the best part of a week just to put pen to paper. I have thought about how to express my feelings for Mooch and my sadness and sympathy for his family, but everything is so inadequate. If anything good is to come from Mooch's passing, it is a lesson. He will continue to teach us and lead us in how to live and love to the fullest.
Mooch, you were and are an inspiration, you were and are a good man, you were and are a true friend.
CHRIS ALBRIGHT, defender, L.A. Galaxy and U.S. national team:
It's always difficult to put memories into words when remembering a man like Mooch. However, one thing I do know for sure. If the national team had started Glenn "Mooch" Myernick at forward, as opposed to assistant coach, in this past summer's World Cup, advancing to the second round would have been an afterthought. I know many of you may question that tactical suggestion, but many of you were not at the SAS Soccer Park on a warm day in late May.
One morning during our preparation training in North Carolina prior to the World Cup, Mooch filled in for one of the forwards that came up a bit lame earlier in the session and proceeded to have a blinder. Balls fired in from all angles were trapped and possessed with world-class precision. He bodied up defenders like Eddie Pope, beat Gooch in the air on a number of occasions, and even slid one through the legs of Pablo Mastroeni before laying a perfect ball for Bobby Convey into space. All the while he outworked every player on the field, the oldest still almost 20 years younger than him. We joked and called him Christian Vieri, the larger-than-life Italian striker whose broad shoulders often saw "The Azzuri" to victory. But it was far from a joke, at 51 or 21 Mooch was damn good that day.
As I sit here and write this with my 4-month-old daughter on my lap, I think of perspective. In the world of professional sports where everything hinges on results it's easy to lose sight of what is important. New life and death are always the two events that allow us to view our world through a wider lens and give us that perspective. Mooch always had perspective.
Even after our disappointing performance in the World Cup when many of the guys distanced themselves from each other and the reminders of Germany, Mooch called. He called to congratulate my family and me on our new baby daughter and did it with a smile you could hear through the phone. Whether it was because Mooch and I were from the same area of the country or because he valued the things I'd like to think I value, I always felt close to Mooch. But I'm sure there are a lot of people who would say the same.
|“||He really wanted every player he coached to be the best player he could be. ”|
|— Brian McBride|
BRIAN McBRIDE, forward, Fulham and former U.S. national team player:
Mooch was always an intense man, who would still sit down and talk to you. Whether it was about soccer, family or life in general. He really wanted every player he coached to be the best player he could be. But more than that, he wanted each individual to reach the highest level a person could reach in life. So many times you see coaches who are only interested in what a player can do for his team. But with Mooch and the whole U.S. staff it was also about life. Making sure that each individual was fully supported on and off the field.
I am guessing many players will have memories of his hard trainings (especially all the long runs in the mountains) and intensity, but I am sure every one will remember Mooch for making him a better person. He definitely had that effect on me.
Jimmy Conrad is a defender for the U.S. national team and Major League Soccer's Kansas City Wizards. He contributes regularly to ESPN.com.