More than most people, Chris Gbandi has a deep understanding of what UConn men’s soccer’s rich history is all about.
His playing career in Storrs, from 1998-2001, was capped by being one of the program’s three No. 1 overall picks in the MLS SuperDraft. Along the way, he helped capture their third national title and took home the MAC Hermann Trophy – both in 2000 – alongside four straight Big East regular-season titles. The Liberia native, now 42, was also a three-time Big East Defender of the Year and three-time All-American.
But Gbandi, announced last week as UConn’s next head coach after a six-year run at Northeastern, doesn’t want to be burdened by that past. For all the Huskies accomplished under the outgoing Ray Reid, his former coach who retired in early December after a quarter-century in charge, being stuck in the glory days can prove problematic.