Lest Toronto FC hog up all the snark and concern allocated to pro soccer in Canada today, let’s circle back to yesterday’s managerial hire at Montreal.
TSN’s Luke Wileman takes a good, balanced look at Montreal’s choice, Marco Schallibaum. That move was announced yesterday, as the longtime Swiss player and coach crosses continents to tackle a completely new challenge.
Wileman points out in his piece that Montreal president Joey Saputo wanted more of a teacher, and that Schallibaum fits the bill. And the club president wanted a coach who had mad language skills. So, check that box, too.
All of which is well and good, because those are certainly desirable qualities.
But as Wileman ticked off the general list of Saputo requirements, one was missing: MLS experience!
Does Saputo (pictured, left) have so little respect for his own league that some kind of working knowledge deserves “afterthought” status?
Does he not think that some degree of education on the special travel challenges (which almost every new player or manager mentions after coming aboard MLS) would be nice to have? Or that the unique player acquisition mechanisms are worth knowing? Or that some cultural knowledge of the American professional athlete would help in the psychology of it all?
The ultimate validation of Saputo’s choice will be in the win-loss record, I suppose. But this does raise alarm bells for me, at least.