Atlanta does not renew Haynes’ coaching contract

ATLANTA — Brian Haynes, who directed the Atlanta Silverbacks against the New York Cosmos in Soccer Bowl, will not return as coach of the North American Soccer League team.

The Silverbacks announced Monday that they have decided not to exercise the contract extension on Haynes for the next season.

The Cosmos defeated the Silverbacks, 1-0, to win the NASL championship in Atlanta on Nov. 9.

“The decision not to exercise Brian’s contract extension was an incredibly difficult one,” Silverbacks president and general manager Andy Smith sai in a statement. “Brian deserves a tremendous amount of credit for leading the club to a NASL spring season championship, but the organization felt that the team did not meet its expectations towards the end of the season.”

It was a tale of two seasons for the Silverbacks under Haynes. The club clinched a dramatic championship on the final night of the NASL spring season, finishing one point clear of the Carolina RailHawks and San Antonio Scorpions. The spring season title earned the team a place in Soccer Bowl.

The fall season was an entirely different story for the Silverbacks. The team accumulated only 16 points over 14 games, posting a minus eight goal differential, losing five of its last six games and finishing in seventh place out of eight teams.

“We ended the 2013 season on a downward trend and failed to generate any momentum going into the Soccer Bowl,” Silverbacks chairman Boris Jerkunica said in a statement. “The organization didn’t feel good about the direction we were going in 2014, and had to make the tough decision of declining Brian’s contract option.”

Haynes posted an overall record of 10-9-7 in his first full season in charge of the Silverbacks. He assumed the position in late 2012, taking over for then interim head coach Eric Wynalda, who is the club’s technical director.

“On behalf of the entire Silverbacks organization, we wish Brian the best of luck moving forward,” Jerkunica said.

Wynalda will continue to oversee the club’s soccer operations as it prepares for next season.