September 25, 2012
Soul names Rojas new coach, Marojevic assistant
HOFFMAN ESTATES, IL - The Chicago Soul has yet to play a game, but already the Major Indoor Soccer League team has made a coaching change. The expansion team appointed Manny Rojas as the club's new head coach, replacing Narciso "Chicho" Cuevas, who has stepped down due to personal reasons. In addition, the team named Novica "Novi" MarojeviŠ as the club's assistant coach.
Rojas, a former member of the Chilean National Soccer Team and former Chicago Sting player, will step in and assume coaching responsibilities effective immediately.
"I am excited to return to professional soccer as head coach of the Chicago Soul," said Rojas. "My family and I are extremely excited about this opportunity, and I look forward to getting started and helping build a great team in Chicago."
Rojas joins the Soul organization, bringing along a wealth of knowledge and experience in professional soccer. Over a 20-year playing career, Rojas has accumulated a total of six championships. As a member of the Chilean National Team, Rojas represented his country in the 1982 FIFA World Cup in Spain. He was also awarded the Chilean National Sportsmanship Award in 1978 and 1981.
Rojas began his professional career in 1971 in his native country of Chile, playing for Palestino and Universidad Catˇlica. He earned three championships with Palestino before moving to Mexico to join Club AmÚrica, where he earned one championship. In 1983, Rojas made his professional debut in the United States with the Tampa Bay Rowdies of the original North American Soccer League. He scored eight goals in 29 games that season to lead the team in scoring.
In 1984, Rojas was traded to the Chicago Sting. The club went on to win the NASL Championship that year. Rojas continued his career with the Sting, which transitioned to the MISL following the 1984 season. He remained with the club until it folded in 1988. Rojas then rejoined the Rowdies, and eventually, returned to Chicago to play with the Chicago Power of the National Professional Soccer League. Rojas capped off his professional career scoring seven goals in 21 games during the 1990-1991 season and helping the Power win the NPSL Championship.
After retiring as a player, Rojas went on to become the assistant coach of the Chicago Power. He has also served as a coach for the soccer programs at Libertyville High School and Vernon Hills High School in Illinois, as well as many youth clubs throughout the state.
MarojeviŠ, who possesses over 20 years of professional soccer experience, began his career in Yugoslavia, playing for FC Sutjeska, FC Radnicki, FC Partizan, FC Vozdovac and FC Celik. He accumulated two national championships while playing for FC Sutjeska. He was also a member of the Yugoslavian National Soccer Team, and voted Best Junior Player in Montenegro during the 1989-1990 season.
Upon arriving to the United States, MarojeviŠ joined the Kansas City Attack for a nine-year stint, winning a championship in 1996. In 2004, MarojeviŠ joined the Chicago Storm. He then went on to play for the Detroit Ignition in 2006, Rockford Rampage in 2008, and finally, the Chicago Riot in 2011.