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Glenn Myernick, 51; Olympic soccer coach

THORNTON, Colo. -- Glenn Myernick, an assistant coach for the US soccer team and a former head coach of Major League Soccer's Colorado Rapids, died yesterday after suffering a heart attack last week. He was 51.

Mr. Myernick collapsed Thursday after his regular morning jog and never regained consciousness, said Rapids spokesman Jurgen Mainka.

Mainka said Mr. Myernick's wife, Nancy, daughter, Kelly, and son, Travis, were with him when he died.

``Glenn Myernick was a player and coach deeply passionate about soccer and life," US Soccer president Sunil Gulati said in a statement. ``Whether it was family, friends or soccer, Mooch was the kind of person that embraced everything in life, loving every minute of it."

Nicknamed ``Mooch," Mr. Myernick coached the Rapids from 1997-2001, taking them to the Major League Soccer title game in his first year.

He also coached the US Olympic team from 2002-04, when it failed to qualify for the Athens Games.

A winner of the 1976 Hermann Trophy as the top collegiate soccer player while at Hartwick College, Mr. Myernick made 10 appearances for the US national team from 1975 to 1979. He was captain of the squad in 1978.

He also played in the North American Soccer League and won the Most Valuable Player award with the Portland Timbers in 1982.

``We lost a great person today," said former US men's national team coach Bruce Arena. ``He was an unbelievable husband and father, and the finest soccer person I've ever come across in the United States. He was an amazing resource for soccer in this country."

Mainka said the family will hold a private funeral to be followed by a celebration of Mr. Myernick's life.

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