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D.C. United Coaching Update

Caleb Porter told his University of Akron players today that he will speak with D.C. United about its head coaching vacancy, the Insider has learned.

Porter, 34, has emerged as United's top choice for the job, which opened when Tom Soehn stepped aside last month after three seasons.

(Anyone fluent in reading between the lines?)

On Sunday, after the Zips lost to Virginia on penalty kicks in the NCAA championship match in Cary, N.C., Porter told the Insider that United had requested permission from Akron's athletic department for a formal interview. Today, United declined to respond to Porter's statement, saying only that "we are continuing the process" of finding a new coach.

Meantime, United General Manager Dave Kasper is "out of town," according to a club spokesman. Ohio or Argentina, your guess is as good as mine. DCU President Kevin Payne is in the United Arab Emirates this week for FIFA meetings in conjunction with the Club World Cup. (He is on FIFA's Committee for Club Football.)

So logistically, even if a deal were reached this week, an announcement would probably have to wait until Monday, at the earliest.

By Steve Goff  |  December 14, 2009; 6:20 PM ET
Categories:  College Soccer , D.C. United  
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Comments

Cool. He struck me as intense and focused.

Posted by: JkR- | December 14, 2009 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Sweet gig, Kevin...

Posted by: Reignking | December 14, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

So United knew when the College cup would occur- and neither has its Gm or President on hand to speak with the top choice for head coach besides a phone call.

if we have yet to talk to Porter about the job, why have we decided he is our top choice?

Posted by: abrown1662 | December 14, 2009 6:54 PM | Report abuse

I thought I read that Akron's AD wouldn't let United talk to Porter until January.

If that is so, I wouldn't expect an anouncement until after the New Year...unless we hire somebody else.

Posted by: 9Nine9 | December 14, 2009 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Could that 'somebody else' be none other than Steve Goff?

Posted by: 9Nine9 | December 14, 2009 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the update stevie g.

Posted by: adamsunited | December 14, 2009 7:27 PM | Report abuse

abrown (Adin Brown? Is that you?), I'm sure that Akron/NCAA doesn't allow coaches to be contacted officially about other jobs during their seasons. Meaning, we "didn't speak to him". Officially. I'm sure all the parties are just saying the right things at this point to prevent any tampering issues. And what were the DCU guys supposed to do, wait outside the press tent for Porter and tell him "Hey coach, tough luck losing the title on penalties like that, instead of being with your team how about you chat with us for a while about taking another job?"

Posted by: the_slammer | December 14, 2009 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Good reporting Steve. Thank you.
Gee........cryptic BS from a pro team??
Whooda thunk it?
I'm shocked - shocked I say!!

Posted by: marksman37 | December 14, 2009 7:37 PM | Report abuse

slammer- My point was that we have not officially talked to the man, and he's our top choice for Head Coach.

If we have been talking to Porter outside of his statement yesterday saying we hadn't yet-we should have someone high in the front office to talk in person soon.

It's ridiculous to ask him about the job 5 minutes after the game-I wasn't saying we should. However camp is nearing somewhere after January and we don't have a head coach and can't logistically announce anyone for another week. We have had a month to interview and have landed upon a candidate we may or may not have talked with. Would you call that great business?

Posted by: abrown1662 | December 14, 2009 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Wouldn't want to have to shell out cash for talking to someone before it was time. Seattle couldn't keep their peter in their pants last year and probably paid a couple Columbus players salaries because of their lack of patience in getting at Sigi. Not sure about the ethics or rules pertaining to a guy coaching a college team. Especially if it could be argued that Porter's attention to his team may have faltered... Not saying it was, I'm just sayin'.

Posted by: DadRyan | December 14, 2009 8:12 PM | Report abuse

abrown, you're full of indignation when there is a lot "officially" we don't know. I would bet that just as Kevin Payne had spoken to Peter Nowak dozens of times before he was ever interviewed for the DCU job, how could it be that no-one with DCU has has no contact with Caleb Porter?

1. He's a former MLS player and assistant coach. Reasonable to assume that Kevin Payne, Dave Kasper, or Mark Simpson has NEVER had any contact with someone who's gotten some MLS paychecks? Possible but I bet their paths have crossed.

2. Agent---as in, I bet he's got one. An agent who anyone can contact directly without engaging in tampering. An agent who can serve as a go-between. This happens ALL the time. And then "officially, DC United has not talked TO Caleb Porter about the coaching position."

3. Scouting. I'm going to be shocked, just shocked if Dave Kasper or Chad Ashton hasn't already been to the Akron campus (or a road match for the Zips and had several conversations with Mr. Porter). In fact, I bet EVERY GM in MLS has spoken to Caleb Porter in the past year. He's coach of the team that was the #1 seed this past year, full of talent, #1 draft pick from last year's draft. How do you NOT talk to him? And during those conversations you throw out lines like "so you ever thought of coaching in the pros Caleb my man?".

In short, DCU is working hard to treat Akron with respect and also not piss all over a program that Caleb Porter feels strongly about. And Caleb Porter is trying hard to be classy about this as well. But there is no way he's our first choice and we hold off making a decision for 2-3 weeks without having had zero contact with him. He doesn't even make our final list (our top two) without some input. That said, we didn't OFFICIALLY talk to him about the coaching position. Instead, we talked to him about his thinking about MLS, about his players and his competition and who'll make it in the pros, what he thought of DC United this past year--all the kinds of conversation that go directly to telling you "this guy is good" or "this guy's a bozo."

Posted by: JoeW1 | December 14, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Steve, an enterprising young reporter such as yourself would have jabbed Kasper with a nano GPS unit and would know, within five yards, exactly where Kasper is at this moment.

Just sayin'.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | December 14, 2009 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Just a reminder: Rand-al-Thor = Joe Doc

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | December 14, 2009 8:49 PM | Report abuse

howdy fellow bleeding hearts,

Please forgiving me IF this question has been asked on threads I haven't read :)

Q: WIth this being a premier coaching position in the US/Canada, why isn't the DCU post drawing a broader pool of candidates???

It seems we are SETTLING for a coach - instead of choosing from a list of master architects!!!

Posted by: oneborntwice | December 14, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

"thought I read that Akron's AD wouldn't let United talk to Porter until January.

If that is so, I wouldn't expect an anouncement until after the New Year...unless we hire somebody else."

Posted by: 9Nine9 | December 14, 2009 7:05 PM

*********************

Nine,

Goff quoted Porter as saying they couldn't talk til "after the year" but I thought Porter might have just meant "after the soccer season".

I don't know whether there's a prohibition in discussing job opportunities but it doesn't seem like it would benefit any of the parties involved to wait til Jan 1. Akron presumably wants to know sooner rather than later whether their coach is sticking around.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | December 14, 2009 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Well said, JoeW1.

As far as "reading between the lines," I'm sensing the word "tempting" hovering around Porter's camp. He also has an excellent option in simply staying at home.

But, we've got a date with the guy. It's up to United whether they land him or not.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | December 14, 2009 9:12 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if Emilio's (sure) downgrade in pay means there's more to offer Porter. I mean, he seems the type the front office would get excited enough about to do what it takes.

I still say he's the one that entices me most and I'd be happiest with getting.


And I'll agree with RK, that's a sweet gig for Payne to have.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | December 14, 2009 9:55 PM | Report abuse

he's in. no way does he tell his players he is 'talking' to another team after the weekend they had if the deal hasn't been agreed in principle.

Posted by: joshuaostevens | December 14, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Only a fool without coaching ambition would stay at Akron.

I also like all the people who equate big name with good coach. Klinsmann? Gullit? Failures.

Plus, by coming to DC he has to be at least doubling his salary. At 34, that's quite a pay raise.


Posted by: delantero | December 14, 2009 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Slammer-You bring up some great points

1. Peter Nowak had a formal interview in which he stated he could take DCU to the mls cup with the players we had before he was considered the top choice.


2. Kasper has been to an Akron game this season; what was said,if anything, is speculation.

3. The main point from my previous posts is that I am frustrated with the front office of D.C. United recently. Let's say you're right and that they may have come to some agreement "unofficially" with Porter-then we should have our president or Gm ready to get a formal interview with the guy soon. Until you have that formal interview you can't know if he's best for the job based on questions like "so you ever thought of coaching in the pros Caleb my man?" I'll bet that was not the sweeping question that got Nowak a job either.

I just hope that Kasper is either in Ohio or talking to a foreign coach. We can all agree let's get the ball rolling

Posted by: abrown1662 | December 14, 2009 11:23 PM | Report abuse

@Joew1
Kasper has been to see at least one Akron game, and Chad Ashton was at the college cup. He walked in just ahead of me. I agree with your points, well said.
Porters youth is both a good and bad thing, but I like the bold move by the FO in targeting him. He could be the next bright star in american soccer coaching. Obviously what DCU has been doing the last few years has not been working, so I have no problem with the team taking a chance on a good young coach. If it works the FO will look like geniuses. If it does not, the team will probably be no worse off than it is right now.

Posted by: jjfooty | December 15, 2009 12:16 AM | Report abuse

It seems we are SETTLING for a coach - instead of choosing from a list of master architects!!!

Posted by: oneborntwice | December 14, 2009 9:06 PM
----------------------------------------------------

Call me crazy, but if I'm looking for a new coach, I'd rather hire a soccer coach than an architect. When it comes time to design a new stadium, pull out that list of master architects.

No announcement until next week? Fear not, we will be bugging you all week for news.

Posted by: fischy | December 15, 2009 12:19 AM | Report abuse

None of these statements surprise me. As JoeW pointed out, United doesn't want to disrespect Akron (who Porter seems quite proud of), and Porter doesn't want to shove his players and the university that supported him aside just because something else came along. Unfortunately, that means that their public statements will be chock full of dodging, ducking, and caution. This happens all the time.

Obviously we all want this to be settled now, but sometimes in life you have to be patient. I'd much rather deal with there being no coach in place for the next couple weeks and have us get it right than rush into a mistake.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | December 15, 2009 12:38 AM | Report abuse

Just a reminder: Rand al'Thor= The Dragon Reborn, Lord of the Morning, Prince of Dawn, Car'a'carn, Coramoor, Shadowkiller, and, clearly, Lews Therin Telamon.

Yeah. I went there.

Posted by: ogdennash | December 15, 2009 3:48 AM | Report abuse

I like the idea of trying for a young, successful American college coach. I prefer that choice to recycling the same old MLS suspects. My question, though, is if you put together a list of all the coaching candidate available to DCU anywhere who do you think is the best coach DCU could get to take the job?

Posted by: rcdwriting | December 15, 2009 5:47 AM | Report abuse

abrown1662, may I refer you to the following:

Spock: You must have faith ...

Valeris: Faith?

Spock: ... that the universe will unfold as it should.

Star Trek 6, The Undiscovered Country

Posted by: Ron16 | December 15, 2009 6:31 AM | Report abuse

Personally, I would like to see United go "outside the box" and get a young coach that could blossom into the next Bruce Arena.

That said, Porter has a pretty sweet gig now. He's only losing 1 senior from the team (though, there is no telling how many underclassmen might leave) and he just recruited the top class of freshmen (or so the experts say). He could be on his way to building a perennial Final Four team. It could be a difficult choice for him. It's highly unlikely that this will be his only chance for an MLS job.

Posted by: Dougmacintyre | December 15, 2009 7:58 AM | Report abuse

Only a fool without coaching ambition would stay at Akron.

Posted by: delantero | December 14, 2009 11:16 PM | Report abuse

-------------------------------

I agree, especially when one of the prominent clubs in MLS is aggressively seeking you out and there is a vacancy (with your name written all over it) at your alma mater - one of the top college soccer programs in the country.

Posted by: combedge | December 15, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

I'll be honest here.

I barely know anything about coaches, except perhaps their past -- maybe some players, win-loss record, etc.

I surely know nothing about how they would coach DCU, and what impact that might have, and how successful they might be.

Oh, wait, I do know one thing. Coaches don't play. They don't score, they don't defend, they don't pass, they don't get nutmegged.

Posted by: Reignking | December 15, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

OT...

Word from my back yard is that DC has aquired Shipalane. What's the word SG? I like Ship. I think he can bring some speed and a decent amount of skill and talent to a team that could certainly use speed.

If this is true, what say the faithful?

Posted by: Kosh2 | December 15, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Uh oh. Please tell me we are not about to boldly go where no soccer blog has gone before.

Posted by: OWNTF | December 15, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Our new coach??

BERLIN (AP)—Juergen Klinsmann and his family intend to return to the United States, eight months after he was fired as coach of Bayern Munich.

The 45-year-old told RTL television late Sunday that “our family planning takes priority and we are now going back to America, so the children can go to school there.”

Klinsmann, whose wife Debbie is American, coached Germany to a third-place finish at the 2006 World Cup and will work as a television analyst for a German channel during next year’s tournament in South Africa.

He became Bayern Munich coach in 2008 but was fired in April before his first season was complete. He has said he does not plan to take on another coaching assignment in the Bundesliga.


http://sports.yahoo.com/soccer/news?slug=ap-us-klinsmann&prov=ap&type=lgns

Posted by: Brian76 | December 15, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, that means that their public statements will be chock full of dodging, ducking, and caution.
Posted by: Chest_Rockwell
==============

Are we talking about soccer or the rest of Tiger's corporate sponsors.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | December 15, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

OWNTF, maybe it will go where no split infinitive has gone before.

Posted by: Ron16 | December 15, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

I'm pretty shocked that Kevin Payne, who is a real MLS and soccer Noob, hasn't made sure that every last detail of his new coach search has been posted on the Goff blog.

I mean that's the way it's done, right?

Posted by: JkR- | December 15, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Ha! Roberto Carlos is angling to return to RM to replace Pepe...

Posted by: Reignking | December 15, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Just a reminder: Rand al'Thor= The Dragon Reborn, Lord of the Morning, Prince of Dawn, Car'a'carn, Coramoor, Shadowkiller, and, clearly, Lews Therin Telamon.

Yeah. I went there.

Posted by: ogdennash | December 15, 2009 3:48 AM

And True Defender of the Light.

I wonder if that kind of defender is better or worse than a parking cone?

Posted by: sec133row5 | December 15, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

""Just a reminder: Rand al'Thor= The Dragon Reborn, Lord of the Morning,""

Is this the Dungeon's and Dragons blog?

Posted by: delantero | December 15, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

"'Word from my back yard is that DC has aquired Shipalane. If this is true, what say the faithful? Posted by: Kosh2""

That the new coach will have little to no input regarding players.

Posted by: delantero | December 15, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Never turn down a job you haven't been offered yet.

Posted by: DCUinCT | December 15, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

I'm pretty shocked that Kevin Payne, who is a real MLS and soccer Noob, hasn't made sure that every last detail of his new coach search has been posted on the Goff blog.
I mean that's the way it's done, right?
Posted by: JkR-

This is no place for your snarky logic.

Posted by: rockotodd | December 15, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Kosh2:

I see Shipalane in the dogfight for the last couple roster spots. His speed is obviously a big positive, but he seemed to be a bit raw in terms of positioning and, though a good dribbler, his passing/crossing could have been better. There is the possibility that, given more time to acclimate to the team, he could improve (he's still a pretty young player, too). I get the feeling his fate will have a lot to do with who we get in the draft, and how many roster spots are actually available after the CBA is hashed out.

I hope we didn't give up too much to sign him. It would be a waste if he is then cut by a coach who was not involved in bringing him in.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | December 15, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

DC will suck if Porter is coach. DC is turning into a sorry program. I can't imagine a 32 year old telling Jamie Moreno what to do or how to handle the professional men at DCU. Should've treated Tommy with more respect and kept him.

Posted by: RicoSuave4 | December 15, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Great news for the Zips. Porter just signed a new contract for 5 years. So it is highly unlikely he will leave Akron this year.

http://www.ohio.com/news/break_news/79360902.html

Posted by: bbscott01 | December 15, 2009 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Great news for the Zips. Porter just signed a new contract for 5 years. So it is highly unlikely he will leave Akron this year.

Posted by: bbscott01

Klinsmann it is!

Posted by: Brian76 | December 15, 2009 9:18 PM | Report abuse

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