- Justin Grimm
Michael Weiss Departs as Mongolia's Best Ever
Image property of the MFF
The Mongolian Football Federation announced today that the association and senior men's national team head coach Michael Weiss have parted ways as his contract has expired.
Weiss, a German, was named head coach of the Blue Wolves in March 2017 on an initial 1-year deal. The team was desperately in need of a solid, veteran manager to get Mongolia over its perpetual hump. Weiss was known as a man who could do just that as he did during his time at the helm of the Philippines.
During his time as Mongolia's manager, he modernized the game at the international level in the country and turned it from a footballing backwater to the AFC's "Aspiring Nation of the Year" by the end of 2018.
When he took the helm at Mongolia, one of the German's biggest objectives was for the team to play more international matches. And it did just that.
Over his two years and ten months in charge, Mongolia competed in nineteen senior internationals, putting Weiss in second place of all former Mongolia managers in that category. The only coach to top him in that category was Ishdorjiin Otgonbayar...over a span of eleven year.
Before Weiss's arrival, the Blue Wolves had played only a single international friendly fixture. Ever. That match occurred 17 years earlier. By November 2019 they had played six more, including the team's first international friendly draw (22 March 2018 vs. Malaysia) and victory (16 October 2018 vs. Laos). Weiss also arranged the first non-Asian opponent, scheduling a home fixture against African nation Mauritius in March 2018.
It seemed like every game was history in the making under Weiss. 2018 saw the team finish the first round of 2019 EAFF Championship qualification undefeated and advance to the second round for the first time. Mongolia would go on to finish the second round 0-0-3, but scored in every match in respectable results against the EAFF's more challenging sides.
Oh, and Weiss was at the helm as Mongolia defeated Northern Mariana Islands 9-0 in that tournament, the team's largest-ever margin of victory.
Another, even more momentous, first occurred in June 2019. In a hard-fought home-and-away series against Brunei, Mongolia were victorious and earned qualification to the second round of World Cup qualification for the first time.
It was pandemonium in Ulaanbaatar as the home side recorded a 1-0 victory over Myanmar to open the second round.
Weiss's plan to build the team by participating in more fixtures came together. By advancing to the second round, Mongolia was guaranteed at least eight competitive fixtures from September 2019 to June 2020 in World Cup qualification alone. Even more are to come in the Asian Cup qualifying campaign.
In total, Weiss went 5-3-11 as Mongolia's manager. Five wins places him in second place in that category for the nation all-time, again behind only Ishdorjiin Otgonbayar who needed 31 matches to earn his record of seven victories.
Under Weiss Mongolia, a nation that had previously struggled tremendously to score goals, netted at least one goal in eight consecutive matches from September 2018 to September 2019. In fact, the team was shut out only once over that span, scoring 26 goals in the process.
The team faced eight nations for the first time under Weiss. He truly opened the world to Mongolia and Mongolia to the world.
No successor has yet been named for the vacant position. Mongolia resumes 2020 World Cup qualifying in March 2020.
As the team looks to the future, one thing is certain; Mongolian football owes an enormous debt of gratitude to Michael Weiss. His name is rightfully now deeply etched in the history of football in the country.
Michael Weiss's List of Accomplishment
19 Matches(2nd all-time)
5 Victories (2nd all-time)
First to advance to round 2 of the EAFF Championship
First to advance to round 2 of World Cup Qualification
First World Cup qualification round 2 victory
First friendly in 17 years
First friendly victory
First and second friendly draws
First match against a non-AFC nation
First match against a CAF member nation
Largest-ever margin of victory
Scored in a record 8 consecutive matches
2018 MFF Golden Ball Award recipient as best coach