Omaha's Emmanuel Viel Named MLIS Coach of the Year

Major League Indoor Soccer today announced that Emmanuel Viel of the Omaha Kings has been voted 2022-23 MLIS Coach of the Year.

Viel led his Kings to a league-best 10-1 record with a top-rated defense that allowed a league-low 5.18 goals per game. In a testament to Viel's organized, consistent approach, the Kings used a league-low 20 players during the season.

The only Kings loss this season was a road game in which the Chicago Mustangs scored twice in the game's final two minutes to eke out an 8-7 win on March 5. The Kings beat the Mustangs 5-3 the following week to clinch the Central Division title.

Omaha recorded the first MLIS shutout on December 10. On January 15 they rallied from an 8-7 deficit to beat the Mustangs 9-8 on a Daniel Zuckweiler goal with 14 seconds left in the game. On March 4 they trailed 7-2 at halftime against the Illinois State Line Falcons, but they kept their composure and scored 10 unanswered goals in the second half to win 12-7.

Kings forward Manuel Lira led MLIS with 52 points and goalkeeper Efren Flores led the league in wins (10) and GAA (5.21).

“I am beyond grateful to have an organization that will do everything for one another to succeed on and off of the field," Viel said. "We built a family that understands each other deeply. I want to say thank you to MLIS for an incredible season. I also want to say thank you to my family, my wife, the staff, and the players for making this dream possible for all of us.”

The Kings were founded by Viel in 2019 and played their debut season in the Premier Arena Soccer League. The team has since moved up the ranks through MASL3, MASL2, and finally, MLIS. Omaha was the final team to join MLIS for the 2022-23 season. Viel was recently named Director of Coaching for Papillion Soccer Club, which boasts over 1,400 players.

"Congratulations to Manny Viel and the excellent regular season performance by the Omaha Kings," said MLIS Commissioner Dominic Turcotte. "Coach Manny has set a standard for all current and future MLIS coaches to live up to."

Rapid City FC Head Coach Louis Stephens, who took over his team's coaching reins midseason and led Grand Rapids to a 7-0 record down the stretch, was second in voting. Houston Bolt coach Rafael Lopez was third.