Cedergren Introduces Erik Imler as New Assistant Coach
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- New Kentucky men's soccer head coach Johan Cedergren has introduced former University of Virginia three-time NCAA Champion and United States Olympic Team veteran Erik Imler as UK's newest assistant coach, it was announced by Cedergren on Wednesday afternoon.
One of the more decorated players in Virginia school history, Imler won three national championships at Virginia (1989, 1991, 1992) as a star midfielder and defender. Soccer America honored Imler's playing career as a member of the Team of the Century and on the 1990's Team of the Decade. A two-time All-American at Virginia, Imler was a ParadeMagazine High School All-American during his prep career.
"I am honored and excited to be joining the University of Kentucky men's soccer coaching staff and becoming a part of the UK family," Imler said. "This opportunity will provide a new challenge for my coaching career and from what I can see the potential for success is sky high. I am grateful to coach Cedergran, UK athletics director Mitch Barnhart and the entire UK athletics department for a wonderful opportunity."
Imler is also a veteran of the United States Olympic (1991-92; Barcelona, Spain) and National Teams (1991-93), in addition to two years on the U.S. Youth National Team (1985-87). Imler notched a full international cap with the U.S.A. National Team in 1993. In the 1992 Olympic Games, Imler started all six games and scored a goal and added an assist vs. Poland, who won the Silver Medal.
"We are so excited to welcome Erik to the UK family," Cedergren said. "Erik is a proven winner, a great coach and he will bring an extensive recruiting network to UK. When we were looking for our two new assistant coaches, Erik was at the top of the list. To be able to hire the top assistant coach for the U18 national team shows how highly the program, and its potential, is viewed by the coaching community."
Following his career at UVA, Imler embarked on a successful professional soccer career, playing a year with the United Soccer League (Delaware Wizards and Raleigh Flyers). He also played for the D.C. United and the New England Revolution in Major League Soccer from 1996-97, before playing in the A-League for the Charleston Battery and the Lehigh Valley Steam. Imler helped lead D.C. United to the MLS Championship in 1996. Imler was drafted in the third round (30th overall) in the 1996 MLS Inaugural Player Draft, playing in 19 games while helping lead D.C. United to the title.
After his standout playing career on the collegiate and professional level, Imler began an assistant coaching career with a season at his alma mater, coaching at Virginia in 1993. He then moved to The Citadel in Charleston, S.C. (1998-99), before taking the head coaching job with the Belmont Abbey women's soccer program in 2009-10.
During his season as the head coach of Belmont Abbey College, Imler led the team to a 17-3-3 record, before becoming an assistant coach with the U.S.A. men's national under-17 team.
Imler comes to Kentucky after a two-year stint as an assistant coach from the United States U17 Men's National Team. He was charged with training the reserve players when the first team was traveling domestically and internationally. He played a major role with younger group of residency players and assisted the head coach in younger group residency players in an international tournament in Montaigu, France. He was highly active in coordinating, planning and executing the training of the team, in addition to scheduling all local games and scrimmages for the first and second teams. He helped track the progress of all current cycle age group players for consideration in the next residency program cycle. He was highly active in scouting USYSA National Events, US Soccer National League events and US Soccer Developmental Academy events.
In addition to his role as an assistant coach with the U.S. U18 Men's National Team, Imler has served as technical advisor for the U.S. Soccer Development Academy (Great Lakes Territory). In that role, he scouted all youth players in the Great Lakes territory (Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Western Pennsylvania, Northern Kentucky and Colorado).
In 2005, Imler founded the Boot Room Soccer School in Waxhaw, N.C., a soccer training resource that was focused on developing innovative training programs for all ages and skill levels. He worked directly in developing mentoring and coaching programs for all college bound student-athletes and was charged with managing all financial aspects of the business. In 2008, he was a presenter at the NSCAA Convention in Baltimore, Md.
A native of Bowie, Md., Imler earned his bachelor of science in education from the University of Virginia in 1993. Imler has his USSF "A" Coaching License in 2010 and is an accredited trainer in certified speed, agility and quickness by the National Endurance Sports Trainers Association.
Imler is married to the former Claudine Maas and the couple have a 12-year old daughter named Jordan and a seven-year old son, Evan.