CLEVELAND, Ohio – Head coach Kirk Harwat of the Cleveland State University men's soccer team announced the hiring of Sinisa Ubiparipovic as assistant coach Tuesday morning.
Ubiparipovic, who attended high school and college in Northeast Ohio, brings over a decade of professional playing experience and coaching stints at multiple youth clubs to CSU.
"We are extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to add Sinisa to our coaching staff," Harwat said. "His experience as a professional player in MLS and NASL is second to none, learning from some of the best coaches in North America. His knowledge of the game and experience is in line with what our program is looking for to continue to push us to the next level."
Ubiparipovic appeared in over 200 professional soccer matches, including an even 100 in the Major League Soccer (MLS) ranks with New York Red Bulls and Montreal Impact.
Ubiparipovic was drafted by the New York Red Bulls in the 2007 MLS SuperDraft and went on to play four seasons with the club. He played in 12 MLS matches in his debut season and helped the Red Bulls qualify for the playoffs, where he featured in both matches his side played.
Ubiparipovic was a key piece to the Red Bulls' run to the 2008 MLS Cup Final under head coach Juan Carlos Osorio, the current Mexican national team manager. He started all four postseason matches in helping the squad to the first Cup final in franchise history. Ubiparipovic went on to play in 18 matches during a 2010 campaign that saw the Red Bulls finish in first place in the Eastern Conference.
Ubiparipovic moved to the Montreal Impact for the 2011 season and subsequently posted three goals and four assists in 10 matches, an effort that saw him recognized as the club's newcomer of the year. He helped the side transition into the MLS during the 2012 campaign while scoring a pair of goals on the season.
Ubiparipovic competed for the Ottawa Fury in 2014 and 2015, posting nine goals across 48 fixtures over the two campaigns. He helped the team to the Fall season title in 2015 by posting five goals and six assists in the campaign. The squad only lost once in the fall season and subsequently earned a berth in Soccer Bowl 2015.
Ubiparipovic finished his playing career with the Indy Eleven the past two years, seeing action in 34 matches. He helped the Eleven to an undefeated record in the 2016 Spring season and a berth in Soccer Bowl 2016, the second time in as many seasons he helped a team to its first Soccer Bowl appearance in franchise history.
Prior to this appointment at CSU, Ubiparipovic was a member of the coaching staff for the U-17 and U-18 teams at Cleveland Soccer Academy Impact United. He helped high-level youth players when he assisted with the Fury FC Academy while playing for Ottawa. Ubiparipovic has also helped out with Cleveland United SC on a seasonal basis since 2012, helping train and develop young players.
"Sinisa is also well connected in the Cleveland soccer community, which will go a long way in bringing the best local talent to CSU," Harwat said. "We are looking forward to integrating him into the CSU soccer family and are excited about the future of our program."
The first-ever player from Akron to be drafted in the MLS SuperDraft, Ubiparipovic began his collegiate career at fellow Horizon League member UIC before transferring to the Zips program after one season. Ubiparipovic was a two-time All-American for Akron and was named the 2006 Mid-American Conference Player of the Year under then head coach Caleb Porter. Ubiparipovic scored 42 goals as a collegian, including a career-high 17 during his junior season. While with Akron, Ubiparipovic and Harwat were teammates under head coach Ken Lolla.
Among the numerous teammates Ubiparipovic had in his professional career were former France national team captain Thierry Henry, current Mexico national team captain Rafael Marquez and former United States national team captain Claudio Reyna.
A native of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ubiparipovic earned a Bachelor's degree from Akron in sociology and criminology in 2006.