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Sporting KC names Brian Bliss Director of Player Personnel

Sporting Kansas City announced on Tuesday that Brian Bliss has joined the club’s technical staff as Director of Player Personnel.

A World Cup and Olympic veteran on the United States Men’s National Team, Bliss will oversee Sporting KC player personnel matters while assisting in domestic and international scouting. He will also share a player assessment role for the Swope Park Rangers and the Sporting KC Academy, reporting to Manager and Technical Director Peter Vermes.

Bliss ended his MLS playing career in 1998 with the Kansas City Wizards and served as an assistant coach for the team from 2000-2006.

“I’m excited to come back to Kansas City and work for a great organization,” Bliss said. “Sporting KC has made tremendous strides over the last several years, and we have a great opportunity to continue that growth into the future. I look forward to helping Peter and the staff reach their goals and keep the club headed in a positive direction.”

Bliss comes to Sporting KC from the Chicago Fire, where he had been the club’s Technical Director since December 2013. He assumed the role of Interim Head Coach for Chicago’s last five matches of the 2015 season.

Bliss began his coaching career in 1999 with the A-League’s Connecticut Wolves before joining the Wizards a year later. In seven seasons as an assistant coach, he helped lead Kansas City to the 2000 Supporters’ Shield, 2000 MLS Cup and 2004 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup titles. He was appointed Kansas City’s Interim Head Coach for the second half of the 2006 campaign, finishing with a 4-4-6 record.

Following his time with the Wizards, Bliss spent 2007 as the State Director of Coaching for Kansas Youth Soccer. In 2008, he began a six-year spell as Technical Director for Columbus Crew SC, winning two Supporters’ Shields (2008, 2009) and the 2008 MLS Cup. Bliss became the club’s Interim Head Coach in September 2013 and went 4-4-0 to close out the season. At the youth level, he coached the Crew Juniors to U.S. Youth Soccer U-19 McGuire Cup national championships in 2010 and 2012.

Bliss has served as an assistant coach for the United States Under-20 Men’s National Team since 2012, including a trip to the 2013 FIFA World Cup in Turkey.

As a player, Bliss earned 33 caps for the U.S. Men’s National Team between 1984-1995. The defender played with Vermes at the 1988 Olympics and the 1990 FIFA World Cup while also competing at the 1995 Copa America.

A native of Rochester, New York, Bliss began his 12-year club career with the Cleveland Force (1987-88), Albany Capitals (1989) and the Boston Bolts (1990). Following the 1990 World Cup, Bliss moved overseas where he played for Energie Cottbus (1990-91), Chemnitzer FC (1991) and FC Carl Zeiss Jena (1992-96) of the German Second Division. In 1996, Bliss returned to the United States and was allocated to Columbus for the inaugural season of Major League Soccer. He moved to the New York/New Jersey MetroStars in 1997 and finished his MLS playing career with Kansas City in 1998.