Dragan Popović

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Don Popovic
Personal information
Full name Dragan Popović
Date of birth (1941-01-01) 1 January 1941 (age 77)
Place of birth Berane, Kingdom of Yugoslavia
Playing position Midfielder
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1963–1964 Red Star Belgrade 4 (1)
1965–1966 Hajduk Split 15 (1)
1967–1968 St. Louis Stars 17 (1)
1968–1969 Kansas City Spurs 46 (0)
1969–1971 St. Louis Stars 23 (1)
1971 St. Louis Stars (indoor) 2 (2)
1971–1973 Toronto White Eagles
Teams managed
1974–1975 Toronto White Eagles
1976–1979 Rochester Lancers
1978–1983 New York Arrows
1983–1984 Golden Bay Earthquakes
1984–1985 Las Vegas Americans
1985–1986 Pittsburgh Spirit
1987 New York Express
1989–1992 St. Louis Storm
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Dragan "Don" Popovic (Serbian Cyrillic: Драган Дон Поповић; born 1 January 1941) is a retired professional soccer midfielder and coach in the United States. He played professionally in Yugoslavia, Canada and the North American Soccer League. He later coached in both the North American Soccer League and Major Indoor Soccer League.

In 1993 became the director of the youth soccer, Lou Fusz Soccer Club, which has teams playing in the St. Louis Youth Soccer Association (SLYSA) soccer league and the Midwest Regional League (MRL)

Player[edit]

Popovic turned professional in 1958 at age 17 in Yugoslavia. In 1967, he moved to the United States to play for the St. Louis Stars of the first National Professional Soccer League. In 1968, the NPSL merged with the United Soccer Association to form the North American Soccer League. That year, Popovic moved to the Kansas City Spurs where he played at least one full year and perhaps part of another. In 1969, he moved back to the Stars where he finished his NASL playing career in 1971. He then moved to Canada where he played for the Toronto White Eagles of the Canadian National Soccer League until 1973.[1] That year, he played for the Canadian national team in an exhibition game with Arsenal F.C.[2]

Coach[edit]

While playing for the St. Louis Stars, Popovic also served as an assistant coach. In 1974, Popovic became the head coach of the Toronto White Eagles. He took the team to the 1975 Canadian National Soccer League championship. In 1976, the Rochester Lancers of the North American Soccer League hired Popovic as head coach. In 1978, the New York Arrows entered the newly created Major Indoor Soccer League. It drew most of its players from the Lancers and hired Popovic as head coach. He led the Arrows to four consecutive MISL championships (1979–1982). The Arrows fired him at the end of February 1983 and he was hired a week later to coach the Golden Bay Earthquakes.[3] He coached the Earthquakes during the 1983 and 1985 outdoor seasons as well as the 1983–1984 indoor season. The Earthquakes sat out the 1984–1985 indoor season. On 16 December 1984, the Las Vegas Americans hired Popovic to replace player-coach Alan Mayer as head coach.[4] When the Americans folded in June 1985, Popovic was hired by the Pittsburgh Spirit.[5] The Spirit folded at the end of the season and Popovic committed to coaching a team in Portugal. In December 1985, the New York Express made an offer to hire Popovic. While he began running practices and overseeing player acquisitions and even coached one games in late January 1987, the team never signed him to a contract.[6] When no coaching jobs became available, Popovic entered the real estate business. In 1989, the expansion St. Louis Storm hired Popovic. He coached the team for nearly three seasons before being fired in March 1992.[7] He was inducted into the St. Louis Soccer Hall of Fame in 2004.[8]

Honors[edit]

Youth Soccer Highlights[edit]

Popovic was the head coach for the following championship teams:

  • 2000 Missouri State Cup, Boys U-13 (under 13 years of age)
  • 2001 Missouri State Cup, Boys U-14 (under 14 years of age)
  • 2008 Missouri State Cup, Boys U-14 (under 14 years of age) [14]
  • 2007 Missouri State Cup, Boys U-13 (under 13 years of age)[15]
  • 2006 Missouri State Cup, Boys U-15 (under 15 years of age) [16]
  • 2003 Missouri State Cup, Boys U-15 (under 15 years of age)* 2010 Missouri State Cup, Boys U-16 (under 16 years of age)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Popovic Eyeing Return – Ex-St. Louis Star May Be New Coach St. Louis Post-Dispatch – Sunday, 2 July 1989
  2. ^ Canadian National Team stats Archived 5 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ BASKETBALL Washington Post, The (DC) – Tuesday, 1 March 1983
  4. ^ FOOTBALL Washington Post, The (DC) – Monday, 17 December 1984
  5. ^ Spirit Wants Popovic as Coach THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE – Wednesday, 24 July 1985
  6. ^ Popovic pops into L.A., but his reputation preceded him Evening Tribune (San Diego, CA) – Tuesday, 3 February 1987
  7. ^ Coach Popovic Fired By Storm St. Louis Post-Dispatch – Monday, 9 March 1992
  8. ^ St. Louis Soccer Hall of Fame
  9. ^ NASL All-League Teams Archived 11 August 2015 at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ Flachsbart, Harold (March 20, 1971). "Fans Get A Kick Out Of Hoc-Soc". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. p. 6. Retrieved August 14, 2016.
  11. ^ MISL – Major Indoor Soccer League
  12. ^ NASL League History Archived 8 December 2015 at the Wayback Machine.
  13. ^ St. Louis Soccer Hall of Fame
  14. ^ Missouri Youth Soccer Association – Missouri Youth Soccer State Cup Archived 8 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  15. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 November 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-15.
  16. ^ TeamMania.net :: Lou Fusz Soccer Club >> Lou Fusz Strikers Soccer Club

External links[edit]