The coach of the United States team at the 1990 World Cup, and during the difficult qualifying series that was played the year before. Gansler later was a successful coach in MLS.
Gansler, who was born in Hungary, played five games in the U.S. national team in 1968 and one season in the North American Soccer League. A protégé of former national-team coach Walt Chyzowych and a college soccer coach at Wisconsin-Milwaukee, he took over the national team in the spring of 1989. Immediately prior to that, he was coach of the successful United States team at the 1989 Under-20 World Cup. Gansler’s predecessor as national-team coach, Lothar Osiander, had held the job on a part-time basis from 1986 to 1988, but declined when the USSF decided that it wanted a full-time national-team coach.
Gansler’s first game as coach was a World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica in April 1989. His last was a friendly against Bermuda in February 1991. In those two years, he had a record of 14 victories, 16 defeats and six ties. Unquestionably the high point of those two years was the upset victory in Trinidad on Nov. 19, 1989 that boosted the United States into the World Cup. Although the U.S. team that Gansler coached was the first to qualify for the World Cup in 40 years, he was sometimes criticized for a defensive tactical style.
Gansler, who coached the Milwaukee Rampage to an A-League championship in 1997, became coach of the Kansas City Wizards of Major League Soccer early in the 1999 season. He coached the Wizards for eight seasons, won an MLS championship with them in 2000 and reached the MLS final in 2004. He was named MLS coach of the year in 2000.
Inducted in 2011.