- The Washington Times - Friday, December 21, 2001

D.C. United yesterday named former University of Maryland player Dave Kasper as its first technical director.
Kasper, 36, comes to United from the New England Revolution, where he had been the director of business development since January, but he has no previous on-field Major League Soccer experience. Kasper's job description will be to identify and sign talent, something he has never done at this level.
"I haven't been involved in the player/personnel part of it per se, but I've been around it," Kasper said. "Obviously, there is going to be a sharp learning curve."
The question arises of what Kasper actually will direct. Sources said Kevin Payne, senior vice president of the Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) that operates United and four other MLS teams, will hire United's next coach.
That became apparent when Kasper said, "I won't be in Washington until January 7." United's training camp begins a week later. It had been believed Kasper, whose professional playing experience is limited to two indoor leagues the NPSL's Milwaukee Wave (1989-90) and CISL's Pittsburgh Stingers (1994) would have input in United's coaching search.
Former United defender Curt Onalfo is United's interim coach. Sources also said United's next coach will have the ultimate say on all final personnel issues and that Kasper will act only as a personnel adviser. So what real authority will Kasper wield?
"It's going to be more of a collaboration effort with Stephen [Zack, United's senior vice president] and Kevin Payne," Kasper said.
Kasper conceded that he hasn't been actively scouting. When asked if he attended the ACC tournament or the NCAA Final Four, which showcases the best college teams, Kasper said he went to the Big East tournament and select lower-round NCAA games.
If MLS eliminates the Tampa Bay Mutiny and Miami Fusion, which reportedly will be done imminently, the league will conduct a dispersal draft to place approximately 40 players with new clubs. With Kasper not assuming his duties until Jan. 7, Payne also will oversee the dispersal draft for United.
Until now, United has never needed a technical director, because Payne and former coaches Bruce Arena and Thomas Rongen handled all personnel decisions. That trio delivered United three MLS Cups (1996, 1997, and 1999), plus a U.S. Open Cup (1996), CONCACAF Champions Cup (1998) and Interamerican Cup (1999).

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