General Manager and Coach. Two of the most important jobs in sports. For the Charleston Battery, both positions are ran very effectively and by the same man-Mike Anhaeuser. A former Battery player, Anhaeuser now oversees the personnel side of things, as well as on-pitch instruction. I caught up with Mike recently:
Q. How has your offseason been Coach? How much time, if any, do you take away from the sport completely?
Anhaeuser: Completely? I took off the two weeks we had for Christmas, and we visited my wife's family in Massachusetts. I didn't take any phone calls, not from coaches, not from agents, not from players. OK, maybe I did take a couple.
Q. Your club finished fifth in the USL PRO table last year. What areas do you think the team can improve on most to take the next step?
Anhaeuser: If we can increase our outside wing play and solidify our defense, those would be my two main concerns. That would allow us to compete for another championship.
Q. Who are some players to watch on your roster?
Anhaeuser: Dane (Kelly), obviously. If he can pick up where he ended, he would be fantastic. Quinton Griffith, Antiguan international. Jarad (van Schaik), obviously, has taken a step up.
Q. How familiar are you with new Dynamo coach Owen Coyle?
Anhaeuser: Owen was with Bolton when they played and trained in Charleston in 2010. So when we got together in Florida (at the MLS Combine) wasn't the first time I'd met him. We know him, and he knows Charleston. That's a strength.
Q. What are your thoughts on the Houston Dynamo as an organization?
Anhaeuser: I think Houston has been one of the best organizations in MLS. Not always getting the big names and recognition, but always being good on and off the field. I'm maybe a little biased because they've been to Carolina Challenge Cup so many times. What is it? Three years in a row?
Q. What challenges are posed by being an affiliate of an MLS club?
Anhaeuser: I think the biggest is just waiting to see what players will be asked to come play. But once they're here they are going to be taken care of very well in a professional environment, and they're going to be competing for minutes just as they would in Houston.
Q. What did you learn as player that has led you to be such a successful coach?
Anhaeuser: Understanding players' strengths and weaknesses. Hard work. Dedication.
Q. What is your favorite place to go to in Charleston?
Anhaeuser: Wow. That's a hard one. It used to be the beach, but now it isn't. I think now it's the soccer field when my kids are playing. It used to be the beach and downtown, but it changes over time, doesn't it?
Q. For all of our Dynamo fans, what type of soccer can they expect to see when they check out the Battery this season?
Anhaeuser: We're going to be very organized, hard-working, and we're going to try to play. We should have speed, so we'll try to utilize it on the outside.
Q. Last question, Does Mike Anhaeuser the GM have the ability to give Coach Anhaeuser a raise?
Anhaeuser: I wish. It would be a very difficult negotiation.