When owner and president Meir Cohen recently decided he needed to concentrate on the business side of the Las Vegas Legends pro indoor soccer team, he had the ideal candidate to replace him as coach right down the road.
Former UNLV star Doug Borgel, who has been coaching the boys and girls teams at Bishop Gorman High School, was officially announced Tuesday as Cohen’s replacement after Cohen had guided the Legends to the playoffs in each of his first two seasons.
“I had a great time,” Cohen said. “I had fun. But when you can find a special local person who knows the game and can lead, you jump on it. Doug was a winner back when he played, and he’s the right person to lead us as we go into our new league.”
The Legends, who previously played in the Professional Arena Soccer League, are now part of a larger, 24-team circuit known as the Major Arena Soccer League.
The season begins Oct. 12 with an exhibition game against the Mexico national indoor team at Orleans Arena, the site of all the Legends’ home games. The MASL regular-season opener will be Oct. 26 against Turlock, Calif., at Orleans Arena.
Borgel, an all-conference striker at UNLV from 1987 to 1990 and a 1992 graduate with a degree in business administration, also had success playing indoors. He was a member of the Las Vegas Dustdevils, who won the 1994 Continental Indoor Soccer League championship.
Borgel, 45, will remain Gorman’s coach, and he also coaches the girls under-16 team of the Las Vegas Premier Soccer Club.
“I’ve always aspired to coach professionally, and this is a great opportunity for me,” Borgel said. “It’s an exciting time for soccer in the city with all the MLS (Major League Soccer) talk, and this is a good quality of soccer. I think if people come out they’ll like what they see.”
Borgel said many of last year’s players who reached the PASL semifinals are back, and the team has started training for the season.
And just to make sure there were no questions about Borgel’s credibility, he had something to show his players when they met last week for the first time.
“I showed them my Dustdevils championship ring,” he said. “I told them that hopefully six months from now, they’ll all be wearing rings.”
Tickets will be priced at $20 for adults and $9 for children 3-12.
Contact reporter Steve Carp at email@example.com or 702-387-2913. Follow him on Twitter: @stevecarprj.