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June 19, 2012
Former U.S. Coach dies at 78

Alkis Panagoulias served as U.S. National Team coach from 1983-1985.
Alkis Panagoulias served as U.S. National Team coach from 1983-1985.
Former U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Alketas “Alkis” Panagoulias passed away Monday in Vienna, Va., at the age of 78.

The native of Thessaloniki, Greece, led the U.S. MNT from 1983-85, and also guided the 1984 Olympic team. He later managed Greece from 1992-94 and lead his country to its first FIFA World Cup appearance in 1994.

During his helm, Panagoulias coached the U.S. Men’s National Team to a 6-5-7 record. At the time of his tenure, Panagoulis’ six wins were the second-highest total from a U.S. head coach behind only Walter Chyzowych’s eight-win total from 1976-80.
During the 1984 Olympics, the U.S. defeated Costa Rica 3-0 in their opening match on July 29 at Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto, Calif.

Though born in Greece, Panagoulias emigrated to the United States to continue his education. He became coach of the New York Greek Americans and led the team to three consecutive U.S. Open Cup championships (1967-68-69). He returned to Greece to become an assistant coach with the National Team, then became the head coach in 1973, the first of his three terms coaching the National Squad, taking the team over again from 1977-81 and 1992-94. He led them to the final eight of the 1980 European Nations Cup.

Panagoulias also coached Olimpiakos, twice, Aris twice and Iraklis. He led Olimpiakos to the first division championship in 1982.

He became coach of the U.S. National Team in 1983, a term that included coaching Team American in the North American Soccer League during the 1983 season, when the National Team competed for one season as a Washington DC based franchise in the league.

After coaching the U.S. he returned to Greece and coached there for another 15 years, then later served as President of Aris Thessaloniki F.C. in 2002 and served as soccer venue manager for the 2004 Olympics Games in Athens.

Greek Football Association head coach Sofoklis Pilavios said Tuesday that Greece’s players will wear black armbands during its Euro 2012 quarterfinal match against Germany in Poland on Friday.

A funeral for Panagoulias will be held on Friday, June 22, at St. Katherine Greek Orthodox Church in Falls Church, Va.

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