About Brian Bliss
Interim Head Coach - Technical Director
Following a six-year stint as the Columbus Crew’s first-ever Technical Director, former Crew defender and longtime United States Men’s National Team member Brian Bliss became the sixth head coach in club history on an interim basis on September 2, 2013.
While serving as Interim Head Coach, the 47-year-old Bliss will continue to support President & General Manager Mark McCullers as Technical Director in the management of player personnel matters, player assessment and domestic and international scouting. Bliss was instrumental mid-season last year in signing the 2012 Newcomer of the Year and the Crew’s second-ever Designated Player Federico Higuain.
Bliss has played a significant role in the ongoing development of the Crew Soccer Academy program and the Crew’s youth player development curriculum. In fact, he was the Head Coach of the club’s remarkable youth National Championship double in 2010, guiding both the U-19s to victory in the prestigious McGuire Cup and the U-20s to the United Soccer Leagues Super-20 League Title. His Crew Juniors U-20s won their second consecutive USL Super-20 championship in 2011.
Bliss has also served as an Assistant Coach on the United States Under-20 squad since January 2012, and most recently was with the club during the team’s group stage appearance at the 2013 FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Turkey alongside frequent U-20 captain and Crew Homegrown Player Wil Trapp.
Holding a U.S. Soccer Federation ‘A’ Coaching License, Bliss began his coaching career in 1999 as Head Coach of the A-League’s Connecticut Wolves, which he guided to a 22-point improvement that season.
He then returned to Kansas City, where he served as a Wizards Assistant Coach from 2000 through mid-2006 before becoming Interim Head Coach from July – December 2006. During his tenure in K.C., the club won MLS Cup and the Supporters’ Shield in 2000 and the 2004 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
Following his long tenure with the Wizards, he spent 2007 as the Director of Coaching for the Kansas State Youth Soccer Association. Bliss joined the Crew as Technical Director on January 29, 2008.
A Crew player from 1996-97, when he scored two goals in 31 games, Bliss has enjoyed a 22-year career in professional soccer as a player, coach and administrator. A member of the 1990 U.S. FIFA World Cup team, Bliss earned 33 caps with the U.S. National Team overall, from 1984-95, tallying two goals. He also played in the 1995 Copa America tournament and represented the U.S. at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea. His playing career culminated with Major League Soccer’s first three seasons, where he scored two goals and added a pair of assists in 50 MLS games with the Crew, MetroStars and Wizards from 1996-98.
Prior to MLS, Bliss played for Carl Zeiss Jena (1992-95), Chemnitzer FC (1991-92) and Energie Cottbus (1991) of the German Second Division, Boston Bolts (1990) and Albany Capitals (1989) of the APSL and Cleveland Force of MISL (1987-88). A native of Rochester, New York, Bliss played collegiately at Southern Connecticut State University, where he earned a B.S. in Economics. He and his wife, Jacki, have two children, daughter Stella and son Jack.