Rogers Out as Sol Coach, Team Being Sold

i-ec6c708b7de88a7fc2d60b7e2d548df3-AbnerRsol.jpgAbner Rogers won’t be coaching Sol star Marta, left, any longer.

Sol Coach Abner Rogers, a notable absentee at the L.A. Sol’s table at the Women’s Professional Soccer draft today in Philadelphia, left the team Dec. 23, 100 Percent Soccer has learned.

The move was part of an organizational shake-up related to its pending sale to a new ownership group.

“Right now the team is in transition over to a new ownership group and Abner is no longer with the organization,” confirmed Robert Penner, spokesman with Women’s Professional Soccer.

Penner said the sale of the team, which is currently operating under the custody of the league, will likely be finalized within the next week or two. He gave no further details.

Anschutz Entertainment group, which had a 50 percent share in the team that played at AEG-owned Home Depot Center, has been in discussions “for months” with an unidentified party to sell its stake, Penner confirmed. However, the team will play at the Carson stadium this season.

The news was not unexpected. One Hundred Percent Soccer broke the news in October that the Sol lost $2 million last year.

General Manager Charlie Naimo has taken over coaching duties from Rogers, who was named WPS Coach of the Year after leading the Sol to the inaugural regular season title with a dominating 12-3-5 record.

Rogers did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Naimo is himself an accomplished coach whose greatest success came with the W-League New Jersey Wildcats. He took over the struggling team in 2004 and in three years led it to two W-League regular season titles and the W-League championship in 2005.

He was named W-League Coach of the Year in 2006, after first winning the honor with the Central Jersey Splash in 1999.

Naimo also led the W-League Pali Blues, based in Pacific Palisades, to consecutive league championships in 2008 and 2009.

Naimo did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

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  • JR Salazar

    And so change is coming to the Sol again.

  • DK

    While unsettling for now, it will be good for the league to completely shed its relationship with AEG. They ravage their sports cities and play games with their teams all the time.

    Too bad WPS let them in originally, especially since they demanded they have Marta on their team, even though they didn’t have the first choice in the International draft.

    AEG is not good for the womens game. Good riddance.

  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    I guess I was right; trading Abily apparently was a salary-cap move to make the Sol more enticing to new ownership.

    Moreover, DK is absolutely right about AEG. The only thing AEG can do is book concerts and operate arenas and stadiums; AEG can’t run teams well. Just look at the Galaxy and the Kings when Leiweke had his grubby little han…er, played a direct role in their player acquisitions.

    One other thing to consider: AEG likely wants to sell its portion of the Sol to get the money for Phil Ant-shits to fund his ambition to be the conservative version of George Sore-ass (aka, George Soros).

  • rellaland

    This article doesn’t seem to mention who owns the other 50 percent. According to Steven Goff of the Washington Post, that would be Blue Star LLC. Goff also mentions the possibility that the Sol’s ultimate destination may be Fullerton:

  • Nick Green

    Blue Star LLC is a partnership between Australian actor Anthony LaPaglia, long-time LA soccer booster Rudi Bianchi, soccer promoter Ali Mansouri and Shane Astani, who owns an company that owns and develops apartment buildings.

  • rellaland

    Thanks for the clarification, Nick. Is Blue Star planning to sell its share at the same time as AEG? Is it possible that Blue Star will buy out AEG, or that it will continue to share ownership with a successor to AEG?

  • Coach Ric

    I’ve known Abner for some time now and I was very surprised to learn that he had “morphed” into a pro coach. He’s a nice guy, tough he is more capable coaching younger players U18’s than pros. Besides, he is able to con parents of their kids “abilities – in some cases inabilities,” something he is unprepared to do with professionals. Good luch Abner


    When a team is $2 mil in the hole and has a dominating season shouldn’t the gen. manager be canned and the coach kept… not the other way around?

  • James

    Reading all of the misinformation on here is disturbing to say the least. First of all Abner Rogers did not leave the LA SOl he was fired by Charlie Naimo because he wants the job. He originally interviewed for the job for the inaugural season and when he didn’t get it has now manipulated his way to getting it. What a total and utter disgrace. Why do you fire the WPS coach of the year who had 3 regular season losses. The reason is so you can be GM, Coach and hire your girlfriend to run travel arrangements. He tried this same thing in New Jersey and was run out of there. Check with the organization I’m sure someone will talk to you off the record. The only reason he has succeeded this time is he has bluffed the league into believing he can deliver an owner which he doesn’t have. The WPS is doomed if this is how things are going to be run and especially if this is how you treat your Coach of the Year. What’s worse is Charlie Naimo just traded Camille Abily the 2nd highest goal scorer in the league for nothing but personal reasons not salary cap as has been speculated. He tried to trade Shannon Boxx last year during the season but was rebuffed by Rogers. She is only the best center mid in the world but she is not someone he can control. He has violated his contract by openly speaking about the team and its plans and has slandered Abner Rogers to player after player. I hope Rogers sues him.

  • Nick Green


    Thanks for your clarification. At the time I wrote the above post I hadn’t talked to Rogers or Naimo and couldn’t confirm whether Rogers had been fired. I have since spoken to both men and will write a new blog post or in my column next Tuesday updating this piece with quotes and more information.

    As for any other “misinformation” in the blog post, please let me know of any errors and they will be promptly corrected. Thanks for reading.