Sports science analyst Steve Tashjian has returned to the Crew for a second stint. He was been named the team's High Performance Director late Friday afternoon.
Tashjian has a long history with MLS. He originally partnered with the Sigi Schmid helmed L.A. Galaxy for offseason workout training in starting in 2002. He'd return to MLS in 2007 after Schmid hired Tashjian away from Azusa Pacific to lead the Crew's athletic performance and rehabilitation programs.
Tashjian also boasts a lengthy stay in one of the top soccer leagues in the World. He would head to Everton of the English Premier League during the 2009 season. He once again lead athletic performance and rehabilitation programs.
In the release announcing Tashjian's hiring, head coach Gregg Berhalter noted that this continues the analytical focus he's using to build the club and Tashjian is one of the best performance specialists in soccer.
Tashjian brought extensive tracking and monitoring to player management during his first tenure with the team. This was a change from previous seasons and the initial results were impressive. The 2008 Crew team were extremely healthy. They didn't suffer the extensive injuries that had plagued the team in the years before Tashjian's arrival.
Tashjian continued his great work during his five years at Everton as he worked to reduce preventable injuries, speed recovery, and improve performance.
Berhalter has been methodical in building his support staff - he's already built a scouting network. Tashjian's return will give the team a twofold edge. Only the Schmid led Sounders have a staffer in a similar role and unlike player salaries, Tashjian's doesn't hit the salary budget.
Tashjian won't score the winning goal or make a late game save, but his work is to ensure the players on the team can. That's a pretty solid signing.