KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Kansas City Wizards General Manager Curt Johnson announced today that the Wizards have named John Cone as the new goalkeeper coach, replacing the recently departed Tim Mulqueen who stepped down to accept a post with U.S. Soccer as the Director of Youth Goalkeeping. Cone will join the Wizards staff in Baltimore for Friday's MLS SuperDraft and will travel to Kansas City later this month.
"John Cone has a solid background as a player and a coach," said Wizards Head Coach Bob Gansler. "Brian Bliss and I are looking forward to working with him because we know he is confident and energetic. With John, our goalkeeping situation will continue to be at a high standard, as we have been used to in the past. I hated to lose Tim Mulqueen, but we have a very capable replacement."
Cone joins the Wizards from the University of North Carolina where he spent the last three seasons as the Goalkeeping Trainer for the Tar Heels. During his tenure at North Carolina, Cone trained goalkeepers Ford Williams and Justin Hughes, both members of the U.S. U-20 National Team player pool. Together, Williams and Hughes gave the Tar Heels one of the most talented goal keeping tandems in the country.
"I'm really excited for this opportunity that has been given to me," said Cone. "This is something I have been striving for since my playing career finished and I committed to coaching. It is an opportunity to work with Bob Gansler, a man who took the U.S. to a World Cup, and I'm excited about that. I'm looking forward to the chance to work at this level and be in Kansas City"
Prior to joining the Tar Heels, Cone spent two seasons as an assistant coach with the University of Tennessee women's soccer program, helping lead them to a second place finish in the SEC in 2000 and their first-ever NCAA Tournament bid in 2001. Cone also served as an assistant coach for two years for the men's team at Metropolitan State College in Denver, CO before joining the Tennessee coaching staff.
A native of Denver, Colorado, Cone has also served as the Director of Goalkeeping for the Colorado Rush soccer club, overseeing the progress of goalkeepers from ages 11-18. From 1993-2002, he was also a director for former U.S. Women's National Team Head Coach Tony DiCicco's Soccer Plus Goalkeeping Schools.
Cone was a three-year starting goaltender at Butler University, where he established school records for most saves in a game, season and career. He later served as an assistant coach for the Bulldogs in 1995 and 1996, as the team compiled an overall mark of 29-12-3. He began his collegiate playing career at Avila College in Kansas City before transferring to Butler.
Following his playing career in 1993, Cone was drafted in the third round of the National Professional Soccer League mid-season draft by the Kansas City Attack in December of 1993 and later spent a trial period with RFC Seraing, a first-division club in Belgium in 1994. He also spent time with the Hampton Roads Mariners of the United Soccer League in 1996.
Mulqueen, 39, departs the Wizards after five seasons in Kansas City. He joined the Wizards coaching staff prior to the 2000 season and helped guide the team to the MLS Cup Championship while the Wizards and goalkeepers Tony Meola and Bo Oshoniyi posted a League-high 0.83 GAA and 22 shutouts through the regular season and postseason. Mulqueen was also a member of the staff that led the team to the 2004 U.S. Open Cup Championship and to the 2004 MLS Cup Final.