If we lined up every MLS manager, and then asked each one to step forward who remains on the payroll at his current position, surely by this afternoon one of them would be halted, then greeted with …
“Uh, not so fast there, Coach So-and-So!”
We warned you that this would be an MLS off-season of coaching upheaval like no other – and so it has begun. Here is where things stands so far:
MLS managers ALREADY OUT
FC Dallas – Schellas Hydmnan: Out on Oct. 18
His dismissal (and make no mistake, the man didn’t choose to quit on his own) was announced with two matches remaining. Boiling it down: He never got the personnel right in 2013, and remained loyal to a diminished David Ferreira for way too long.
Vancouver Whitecaps – Martin Rennie: Out on Oct. 28
His record in two years fell just below .500, and failing to make the playoffs this year (missed it by two spots in the MLS West standings, in fact) was the final nail. Boiling it down: His personnel choices were all over the place.
Chicago Fire – Frank Klopas: Out on Oct. 29
It was a bit of a house cleaning at Toyota Park; Klopas (pictured above) is out along with president of soccer operations Javier Leon were jettisoned, and more front office axes may soon fall. The club could have kicked Klopas back upstairs to his former role as technical director, his position until moving to the bench in 2011. Boiling it down: Similar to Dallas, too many questionable personnel moves.
MLS managers in some kind of GREY AREA
Columbus Crew – Brian Bliss: The interim manager apparently will not be retained. The team has not officially said so, but it seems clear from their impressive wish list of candidates that they want something different. Something splashier, too.
Mark Watson – San Jose Earthquakes: His team’s big push for the post-season will probably be sufficient convince Earthquakes’ leaders to give their interim man a chance in 2014. Word of warning, though: they must quality for next year’s playoffs, or the organization will definitely want a name hire ahead of the new stadium opening in 2015.
MLS managerial employment WATCH LIST
Seattle Sounders – Sigi Schmid: Seems like advancing past tonight’s elimination match is an absolute must. Perhaps even getting into the conference finals will be needed for a club with such big ambition.
D.C. United – Ben Olsen: Club leaders have indicated that Olsen will hold onto his job. That’s a tough sell to fans, seeing as the club just became, statistically speaking, the worst team in MLS history. Still, it would be nice to see what Olsen could do with a better roster. Tough to say how much of the awful personnel choices around RFK are his fault.
Philadelphia – John Hackworth: On the plus side, his team has lots of young talent, some of which just wasn’t quite ready this year. On the minus side, that long, slow, late-season fade was tough on the eyes. So is the style around PPL Park.
Toronto FC – Ryan Nelsen: It doesn’t seem fair to the first-year head coach to bring him over, have him manage through high-level organizational changeover and then let him go. But who knows? A record of 6-17-11 and ninth-place finish out of 10 is never going to provide the most stable of footing.
Chivas USA – Jose Luis Real: Seriously, who knows what the Goats erratic ownership will come up with next, strategy-wise?