Retiring Chinapoo prepares for final Heat home games
Updated: Wednesday, January 22 2014, 11:28 PM CST
Posted by: Jason Bristol
HARRISBURG -- Its one last trip to the Farm Show this weekend for Richard Chinapoo.
The head coach of the Harrisburg Heat will coach his final two home games on Friday and Saturday against Chicago. Chinapoo, who was also a star player for the old Heat, is retiring and moving to Florida to be closer to family.
"It's going to probably hit me sometime in the fourth quarter maybe on Saturday night; but hopefully I'm in a winning position and can celebrate after the game," said Chinapoo during practice Thursday night.
"My focus is to get the team ready for two games this weekend."
Harrisburg (4-7) still has a chance to make the playoffs but it's very unlikely the team would host a game in the Professional Arena Soccer League's playoffs.
Chinapoo, 57, is also leaving his job this summer as the Capital Area Soccer Association's (CASA) technical director, a position he's held since the late 1990s. A former member of the Trinidad and Tobago national team, he's provided instruction to thousands of local youngsters.
His commitment to local soccer has not gone unnoticed.
"We want to come out and play (this weekend)," said forward Kenneth Fultz, a CASA alum who played collegiately at Slippery Rock. "We want to put it on for our coach because who knows when he's going to come back to see us play -- and it's a chance for us to prove to him still that we can play and we want to be here and we're here for a reason."
CASA is holding a white-out for Saturday's contest, which starts at 7 p.m. Friday's game against first-place Chicago (10-0) also begins at 7 p.m.
Chinapoo compiled a record of 4-9 last year, leading Harrisburg to a third-place finish in the PASL's Eastern Division. He played professionally with the New York Cosmos, Baltimore Blast, and Dallas Sidekicks, as well.
Harrisburg ends the regular season at Dallas on February 16.