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DCU Looking to Onalfo

D.C. United is moving closer to hiring Curt Onalfo as its head coach, the Insider learned Thursday night. If all goes well with the talks, the club would probably make a formal announcement the first week in January.

Onalfo, a former University of Virginia and United player, guided Kansas City for 2 1/2 seasons before being dismissed last summer. Prior to leading the Wizards, he was an assistant coach for United and the U.S. national team.

Onalfo, 40, has been in the mix for the DCU job since Tom Soehn's departure Nov. 3. However, the club's first choice was Caleb Porter, who decided to remain at the University of Akron. United also interviewed New York interim coach Richie Williams and considered foreign options.

Onalfo is on vacation in Mexico and couldn't be reached. United officials didn't respond to messages.

Meantime, New York is apparently favoring a European coach to fill its vacancy and, as the Insider reported exclusively last week, Chicago is serious about Carlos de los Cobos, who guided El Salvador's national team and might have opportunities in his native Mexico. The Fire has also approached Soehn.

By Steve Goff  |  December 24, 2009; 8:50 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United , MLS  
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Next: United hires Onalfo as head coach

Comments

First.
Crap. I was really hoping for, well just about anyone else. Thanx Goff and merry holi-daze to the lot of you!

Posted by: Gavinmgraham | December 24, 2009 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Merry Christmas, DC United fans!

We'd prefer coal in our stocking.

Posted by: DCU_Rick | December 24, 2009 9:01 PM | Report abuse

I think Onalfo will be OK - maybe better than OK. Our problem has been more with the players than with the coach. Many of us have had unrealistically high assessments of our roster. Now we know - we're not that good. Some good signings, another decent draft, and sensible schemes on the field and we should be fine.

Posted by: b18bolo | December 24, 2009 9:14 PM | Report abuse

"Mediocrities! Mediocrities everywhere, I absove you. I absolve you!!!"

Salieri, "Amadeus", 1984

Posted by: Ron16 | December 24, 2009 9:15 PM | Report abuse

I am afraid that we are no longer a plum coaching position.

Posted by: bdwooton | December 24, 2009 9:15 PM | Report abuse

"If all goes well," we'll have Onalfo as our coach.

I shudder to think what would happen if things didn't go well.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | December 24, 2009 9:20 PM | Report abuse

We're obviously no longer the "Flagship of MLS," but rather The Rapids of the Potomac.

This stinks.

Posted by: fret44 | December 24, 2009 9:32 PM | Report abuse

This is a joke, right?

Posted by: zizou1972 | December 24, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure the team could do worse.

Posted by: fischy | December 24, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Not really what I wanted for Xmas. Is there a gift receipt?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | December 24, 2009 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Now I hate it too, but let's at least give the man a chance... DC's front office will have him on a short leash i'm sure, and I still think it's a flagship position, but we just got a bad roll of the dice this time around. This could very well end up as another Ray Hudson Era, but the bottom line is still that the players must win the games... so let's just hope he picks the right 11 more often then not... Merry Christmas to all

Posted by: BurchFan4 | December 24, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

As long as he doesn't blow the 7th pick on a fullback (wing play we actually have some depth at) we should be OK. We need an impact forward or a center back ready to push James.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | December 24, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

No, no, no, no, no.
Onalfo is a mistake!
This season ticket holder says NO to Onalfo!

Posted by: jjfooty | December 24, 2009 10:51 PM | Report abuse

I seem to recall that even Bill Belichick had an unsuccessful tenure with the Cleveland Browns before finding the right form with his second job. Before coaching the Detroit Pistons and the original Dream Team to gold in the '92 Olympics, Chuck Daly was fired as coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the middle of his first season after posting a dismal record of 9-32. Even the great Red Auerbach had a losing record in the NBA prior to taking over the Boston Celtics in 1950.

Sometimes in sports we get caught up in the moment and become shortsighted. Kids graduating from high school this year think of the New England Patriots as a consistent winning franchise. Ask a 50 year old about them and you get a more measured response. Curt Onalfo has only been a head coach for 2 1/2 years but how do we know he won't end up with an illustrious 30 year resume? Just like "games aren't played on paper", we should let Onalfo prove himself with the results on OUR field, with OUR team.

Give him a chance.

Posted by: spectre3724 | December 24, 2009 11:15 PM | Report abuse

this is just a Christmas Eve Fool's joke, right? right?

Posted by: joe_hill | December 24, 2009 11:51 PM | Report abuse

I wish I had read this before midnight...

Merry Christmas y'all.

Posted by: sitruc | December 25, 2009 12:03 AM | Report abuse

Ha ha. Good April Fools' joke.

...What do you mean, it's Christmas???

Posted by: B_A_ | December 25, 2009 12:23 AM | Report abuse

He couldnt cut it at KC!?!? and now we give him a chance.

good grief.

Aren't their more coaches out there.

Feels like this is a Fenty-type deal, give your contracts and SUVs to your friends.

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | December 25, 2009 12:59 AM | Report abuse

Honestly Onalfo is the best possible candidate with mls experience. Preki, although a hot head, was a winner and we let him go to toronto. Unless we may find a foreign coach that has a concept of how to win in Mls (Marco Antonio Etcheverry)this is the best option. He uses a 4-4-2 with attacking backs, similar to his mentor arena. I could see many of our players in that system and unlike Soehn we might have the same lineup two consecutive games.

Posted by: abrown1662 | December 25, 2009 1:05 AM | Report abuse

Bad choice. Good man in the past for DCU, but not head coach stuff.

Posted by: osh123 | December 25, 2009 4:58 AM | Report abuse

From the perspective of the front office, Onalfo is a "safe" pick. He has a DCU connection, he has a local connection (Virginia), and he has MLS coaching experience. Again, the front office is mired in the view that the team really only needs minor adjustments to right itself. That's the only reason to bring in a "safe" pick. Quality/winning teams can bring in "safe" picks because they do have a plan or formula that is working. DCU is not working, and coaching is one the reasons the team is not successful. If we were going to go with a coach with an MLS background, I think we should have gone with a new face and a new approach. Maybe Jessie Marsch. Maybe Richie Williams. Maybe John Spencer. Maybe even Marco. But we never pushed hard to get those coaches. Instead we choose to go a safer route. If you liked the product on the field last year, you'll love Onalfo. If, like me, you want to see an entirely new direction for DCU, then you'll have to wait until we hit the absolute depths. And since we finished last year about as close in the MLS standings to San Jose and Kansas City as we did to LA and Columbus, I just hope the "new direction" Onalfo provides the team isn't a slide toward RedBullLandia, but I am afraid that is where we are going with our new coach.

Posted by: rcdwriting | December 25, 2009 7:18 AM | Report abuse

Well... hmm... I'm gonna go open presents and hope that reading this was just a dream. Merry Christmas Soccer Insider Nation!

Posted by: beltwayrob | December 25, 2009 7:23 AM | Report abuse

I will ignore this until tomorrow, and likely talk myself into it then.


For now, I will go open presents, including that awesome new DCU jersey, and celebrate why we celebrate today.

Luke 2:14- Glory to God in the Highest, and on Earth peace, good will toward men.

Merry Christmas, and a cooked goose for everyone!

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | December 25, 2009 7:36 AM | Report abuse

Onalfo is a joke. I cant wait to see DC United at the bottom of the table next year.

Posted by: markt6 | December 25, 2009 8:14 AM | Report abuse

This is absolutely pitiful. I'm shocked that Kevin Payne would simply settle for mediocrity. What was once the midas of the league is now a joke. I am very disappointed!

Merry Christmas to everyone!!

Posted by: cfrazier91 | December 25, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Until the stadium situation is resolved - one way or the other - United is going to have a hard time convincing top-notch coaches (who have other options)to come here. I think it's pretty telling that Caleb Porter decided to take the security of the Univ. of Akron over the opportunity to coach a team that may be playing in St. Louis in a couple of years.

Posted by: Stevenho | December 25, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

I say give him a chance. I have always liked the guy. I think we have more talent than KC and I think Onalfo with Benny as one of his assistants could do good things.

Now if we could get some talent on the back line and in the front office, it would give him a much better chance of success.

Posted by: Beckster1 | December 25, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

This season ticket holder says NO to Onalfo!

Posted by: jjfooty | December 24, 2009 10:51 PM

Do what this former season ticket holder and several thousand other supporters) did when the team signed the Million Dollar Donut. Jump ship. Become a former season ticket holder to voice your displeasure with the way the FO has been running the team lately. Victor MacFarlane heard the bell ringing loud and clear and he got out of a losing investment. It will be up to Will Chang to hear the same call from the fans and put his foot down on Kaspar and Payne and let them know that failure is no longer an option. We need strong leadership from the bench. We had it with Bruce, we had it (a little) with Rongen. We didn't have it with Hudson. Nowak brought it back and he was even able to stick Freddy where the sun didn't shine and get away with it. Turns out Nowak was right and everyone else wrong on Adu. Soehn, Kaspar and Payne coasted on Nowak's laurels until the team lost momentum. The nadir being the Gallardo year. A full house-cleaning must be in order, including Ashford & Simpson, or our team will look like soccer's version of the Redskins. Besides, United won't be playing here in a couple of years anyway. Best to enjoy them now on TV and save yourself the aggro of supporting this lost cause.

Merry Xmas,

Jay!

Posted by: jayrockers | December 25, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

People who continuously get names wrong (i.e. calling Chad Ashton "Ashford") look like fools when criticizing...

That said, I'm not particularly enamored of Ashton myself, however Mark Simpson is a fine GK coach, and it's unlikely we'd find anyone better out there either.

I've said from the get-go though, that I see nothing from Onalfo that would lead me to believe he'd be anymore successful than Soehn. Hopefully he'll prove me wrong, but I'm readying myself for Soehn v2.0 with Onalfo.

Posted by: alecw81 | December 25, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Again:

Please, not Onalfo. Please!

Posted by: hoyanick1 | December 25, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

b18bolo:

The problem is that "fine" is not up to the standard that any of us or, if you believe what they say, anyone at the club is willing to accept. "Fine" in MLS means that soft middle, between like 5th and 10th, that ends up going to the wire for a playoff spot. It means having major flaws in your team, whether they are offensive, defensive, coaching, or locker room dischord. It means we're probably not adding any stars above our badge.

I sincerely hope that I'm wrong, and that Onalfo was simply let go too soon in KC. I hope that he's on the verge of finding himself as a coach, and that we'll reap the benefits. I also think our squad is more complete than what Onalfo had in KC.

I'll definitely give him a chance, but that doesn't mean I'm optimistic about it. My head and my heart both say that we're just spinning our wheels here.

UnitedDemon:

What center back will be available at #7 that is close to or better than James? Opara won't last that long, and he's in a class by himself as far as center backs in this draft pool go. If we're going to finally field a team with 2 strong, reliable center backs, I don't see it happening in the draft. Either we get someone via trade or outside MLS, or James improves the mental side of his game.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | December 25, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

I think we should have gone with a new face and a new approach. Maybe Jessie Marsch. Maybe Richie Williams. Maybe John Spencer. Maybe even Marco. But we never pushed hard to get those coaches. Instead we choose to go a safer route. If you liked the product on the field last year, you'll love Onalfo. If, like me, you want to see an entirely new direction for DCU, then you'll have to wait until we hit the absolute depths.
----------------------------------------------------

This really makes no sense. In what way do Ritchie Williams or Jessie Marsch represent a new approach that Onalfo does not? What basis do you have for implying that Onalfo would be an extension of Soehn's approach?

As for pursuing Williams, DCU did that, and decided they didn't think he was the guy, for some reason (or, he took himself off the list). You have no basis for claiming he'd be a better choice. As for Marco, there is some indication that Marco thought he was in the mix -- perhaps there was some contact. Maybe, he's decided to stick with a winning team down there -- or, maybe DC is grooming him for another position -- perhaps an assistant or front office job? As for Marsch, you wouldn't even be mentioning him if you hadn't read that the Fire contacted him. So, how does that make him a better choice than Onalfo? Finally, as for Spencer, DCU did pursue him, but he declined to speak to the team about the opening.

Most people thought Onalfo was a pretty good coach, stuck in a bad situation, at least until he was let go. Really, I have no basis for deciding otherwise. The only times I've even watched the Wizards play were against DC United, and all I can say about those games is he got some good results that frustrated DC -- took a lesser lineup and really made DCU work. Record was 2 wins, 2 draws and 2 losses (by 2-0 and 1-0). In '07, when DC won the Supporters' Shield, he got 4 points in 3 games against us. Not too shabby.

Posted by: fischy | December 25, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

I might add that Onalfo is a pretty impressive guy. He beat Hodgkin's, and then made a career for himself as a professional athlete. Played in Mexico, so he's familiar intimately with more possession=based play. He played on Cup-winning teams here in DC, so he knows what it takes to win in MLS. Unlike Soehn, he speaks Spanish, fluently -- so, he'll be able to fully communicate with guys like Castillo, et al. He's been coaching for almost a decade, and has head coaching experience. He can hit the ground running, and has learned already from the mistakes all young coaches must make.

I'm not saying I'm certain he'll be an unqualified success, but I think the criticisms and pessissm are baseless.

Posted by: fischy | December 25, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

An excellent decision, despite what some of you folks are thinking. Let us be realistic about DC United. Over the years we have made many bad personnel decisions, and drifted into mediocrity. Fact is, we're a very average team, but management seems finally to have decided to get serious. Our future success will depend largely on players from south of the border both because many skilled players can be had for relatively low prices and because DC's fan base is very much Hispanic. (This is a business about putting buts in the seats, remember) Because of this orientation, a spanish speaking coach is essential to our on field and off field success. We also want an offense oriented team, willing and able to attack from everywhere.

Given those two very important criteria, Onalfo, who is fluent in Spanish and favors the attacking game, fills the bill nicely. Additionally, He is also well known in MLS and by its players to be a "players coach."

Those of you looking for someone who can "walk on water" need to get real. Success in this league is a function of incremental steps, building a reputation as a great place to play is the first step in that process and having a "players coach" is key. There is a reason why Onalfo took a very ordinary group of guys to the MLS playoffs in his FIRST TWO YEARS at KC.

Now that he will have more resources and a rededicated front office, DC may well in fact return to the glory days and compete with the Houston, Seattle's and LA's of the league.

Oh, and if you don't think being a "players coach" doesn't make a difference: the reason Preki left underperforming Chivas was because the players said they were all tired of playing for the Pr*ck.

Posted by: Ruthie1 | December 25, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Chest: I realize that "fine" is a measure short of "dominating," and falls well short of what most of us and the club is willing to accept. I chose the word deliberately, because I question the apparent assumption that DCU has this fabulous roster which needs only a superior coaching talent to regain its storied role as the team to beat in MLS. I've said for years now that our personnel, viewed across the board, simply aren't that much better (if better at all) than those of other teams. An excellent coach can and should get better performance from our roster, but I'm pretty sure another good draft and some decent acquisitions will be required before the team plays up to our perhaps inflated expectations. Of course we should always demand the best, but let's not assume that the decision on the new coach is necessarily the most important ingredient for a successful season.

Posted by: b18bolo | December 25, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

People who continuously get names wrong (i.e. calling Chad Ashton "Ashford") look like fools when criticizing...
__________________________________________

Several people have made this mistake, which is actually quite understandable, given that there is also a Simpson in DCU's ranks:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=up9cH7xDqCw

Posted by: universityandpark | December 25, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Also, it's Dave Kasper, not Kaspar...but, you go ahead with your expert critiques....

Happy Holidays!

Me!

Posted by: fischy | December 25, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

One more point -- DC United isn't moving...

You go ahead and watch them through the little glass screen. I'll be having a full-throated good time at RFK. If you have to be have a championship team to get your support, then you're not really a fan to begin with.

Posted by: fischy | December 25, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Chest- From my perspective, I would agree. Opara is the cream of the crop. However, I'm looking at our defensive weakness and wondering if we can really overlook 7th pick in any draft. We'd surely get the second best out there, maybe even an Eric Brunner type (anyone who scoffs at the name, yeah, we could definitely have used him last season).

We need defense, and who's going to be around for the 55th? Not sure we're going to get the impact forward we hoped for with the 7th pick, either.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | December 25, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Ruthie1:

Incremental steps? In a league where Seattle can go from not existing to being one of the top teams (both on the field and in terms of prestige), and LA can go from a league-wide embarrassment to MLS Cup favorite in one year, success can be had quickly if you get the right people in charge.

As for Onalfo's "FIRST TWO YEARS", making the playoffs in MLS is not an achievement that merits going all caps, especially since we're talking about finishes of 8th (2007) and 6th (2008) and a record of 22 wins, 22 losses, and 16 draws.

It's great that Onalfo is fluent in Spanish and wants to play the right way. I think that, one day, he'll be a quality head coach. I can't speak for everyone, and I desperately want to be wrong, but I don't think that day is here yet.

b18bolo:

I'm with you on roster strength. We have some great parts, but we're also missing proven quality at some crucial positions (center back, keeper, striker, attacking midfield).

However, that's why I think this coaching decision is so important. It would be great if we added a quality center back, a reliable keeper, a gifted playmaker that still has the legs for the job, and an athletic goalscorer (I'm still holding out hope that Pontius will become that player). Unfortunately, that's a very tall order for one offseason, and it seems likely to me that we'll be fielding a team with some weak spots (hopefully only one or two) that need to be hidden.

Having watched KC somewhere between 15-25 times under Onalfo, I don't think he's particularly adept at covering his side's vulnerabilities. Unless Kasper has one of the truly great offseasons in MLS history, we will need someone who can rise above the pack with a roughly equal amount of talent at his disposal.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | December 25, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

DC needs a coach who can get the team to reinvent itself and play the offensive entertaining type of football it is capable of. Szetela et al needs to step up to the next level and the team needs to play each match as it were a championship game; no excuses.

Posted by: juke2 | December 25, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

NOT Onalfo. We'd be worse than last year.

Two good coaches out there on the market:

-Carlos de Los Cobos (let go by El Salvador about 2 weeks ago.)
-Hugo Sanchez ( Let go by Spain's La Liga Almeria about 1 week ago.)

These are two great coaches, both are looking for jobs.

Posted by: wiz-skins07 | December 25, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

NOT Onalfo. We'd be worse than last year.

Two good coaches out there on the market:

-Carlos de Los Cobos (let go by El Salvador about 2 weeks ago.)
-Hugo Sanchez ( Let go by Spain's La Liga Almeria about 1 week ago.)

These are two great coaches, both are looking for jobs.

Posted by: wiz-skins07 | December 25, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: wiz-skins07 | December 25, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

92 days until United's first 2010 league match!

Posted by: Curious99 | December 25, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Jamie Moreno for assistant coach.

Posted by: Curious99 | December 25, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

"In what way do Ritchie Williams or Jessie Marsch represent a new approach that Onalfo does not?"

In 2006, Richie Williams took over in mid-season and went 3-3-2 with a bad club. He took over for Osario at the end of August and managed three victories out of a terrible team that had won only twice from April to August. I think this is a better "claim" for an extended opportunity that Onalfo deserves with his failed run at KC.

Personally, I think Jessie Marsch is a bright guy with a lot of soccer insight, playing experience, and leadership. He is someone I think the front office should have spoken to about the job to see what he had to say. Jason Kreis fit this mold of an experienced player with no head coaching experience and he took RSL to a championship. Marsch would be a hire that says we are looking for a leader with a vision.

Marco would a good choice if you wanted to aim to rebuild the qualities that made this team what it once was.

IMO any of the three would be better than Onalfo.

Posted by: rcdwriting | December 25, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Does any one want to put the cash together and maybe offer a bid to buy DC and make it a Barcelona style ownership?????

could work?

=)

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | December 25, 2009 6:59 PM | Report abuse

I am also not thrilled with Onalfo as coach. I think someone like Richie Williams or Jesse Marsch would be excellent picks.

I agree with the earlier comment that Jesse Marsch is very bright and has a certain insight into the game, including that of a player, that I believe will make him an outstanding Head Coach.

Posted by: dcufan53 | December 26, 2009 1:39 AM | Report abuse

91 days until United's first 2010 league match!

Posted by: Curious99 | December 26, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

While I never wanted Onalfo as our coach in the first place, a lot of you guys are overreacting. I fully support voting with your wallet; I make most of my purchase decisions with a thought in that direction. The issue with comments like our friend jay's is that the fans themselves might be the reason our coaching job is no longer the premier job in MLS. I was never a huge fan of Soehn, and by the end of this season I was on the Fire Soehn bandwagon, but it's clear that that section of our supports really put a strain on Soehn and his family.

As I said, Onalfo isn't the guy I was hoping for and could be a huge step in the wrong direction, but he could just as easily be a breath of fresh air in the locker room and bring some success to our team. What needs to happen, though, is we need to give him a chance.

@Chest - I know you have an issue with Ruthie's "incremental steps", but both the teams you cited (Seattle and LA) are examples that any team in the league can look at as what happens when everything goes right. Both of those are examples of the whole organization doing an amazing job working together in one (off)season. The coach plays an important role in that, but the FO does a lot to make the moves for the right personnel.

All I'm trying to get at is that incremental steps can be taken. If the FO has a vision for the team that Onalfo fits into nicely and they'd be on the same page for personnel moves, then that seems better than most teams in the "fine" category you mentioned earlier. In fact, it would put us more towards the Houston or New England model, both of which were built through "incremental steps".

To reiterate, there are coaches out there in the world that I would like to have more than Onalfo, but if Onalfo fits into the the club's plans the way the front office seems to think he does, I, for one, am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. I will also be laying off of Onalfo until a significant amount of the season has gone by. One of the reason why our club has been different from others over the years is the FO lets our coaches settle (the anti-metrobulls model) and our fans support our team unfalteringly. The coach is as much a part of the team as anyone else, so I encourage all of you to support whoever becomes our next coach.

Posted by: TassieTiger | December 26, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

I'll mark all your comments for serious amusement as I recall them when you're all bemoaning what will happen to DCU with Onalfo moving on to coach the national team after 2014.....

Posted by: fischy | December 26, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: fischy | December 26, 2009 11:48 AM


...talk about serious amusement!

Posted by: nairbsod | December 26, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Out of all the coaches mentioned in Goff's post, the one I'd prefer the most at this point is Soehn.

Posted by: DCUMD | December 26, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Burnley v Bolton now on FSC. I'm ummm Stoke-d? For those of you who are wondering, the ad just said "FSC in HD. Coming soon."

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | December 26, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Happy Boxing Day!

I hope no one got punched in an unwanted place.

I'm not too enthusiastic about Onalfo but he might do OK. Remember, this league is based on parody and the difference between being good (like say, 2009 RSL) and weak (like 2009 DC) is almost imperceptible.

When Peter Nowak took over in 2004 he was only about 1 game better in the regular season than Ray Hudson had been in 2003. But the most everyone was healthy at the end of the season, Gomez was a big late season acquisition, and the team played cohesively in the postseason.

Without any Superliga or Concacaf Champions League games on the schedule, we already have a significant advantage over recent seasons in being able to field a reasonably rested team in the Fall when games count the most.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | December 26, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

@Joel_M_Lane - "this league is based on parody"

Heh!

Posted by: fret44 | December 26, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

MLS is a poor parody of most established european leagues.

Posted by: Curious99 | December 26, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Why does it matter who the coach is if the decisions are all made by Payne and Kasper?

Will Chang would be well served by conducting extensive exit surveys with former players and coaches.

Those of you saying we're an average team are being generous. We've made the playoffs 50% of the time over the last 10 years. Given that something like 75% of teams make the playoffs over the last 10 years (the exact percent changes based on the number of teams in the league), we are actually below average.

I look forward to another letter from the owner to season ticket holders this year. Now THAT will be some creative writing!

Posted by: dsheon1 | December 26, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Heh.

The parody about parity was actually unintentional.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | December 26, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

The issue with comments like our friend jay's is that the fans themselves might be the reason our coaching job is no longer the premier job in MLS. I was never a huge fan of Soehn, and by the end of this season I was on the Fire Soehn bandwagon, but it's clear that that section of our supports really put a strain on Soehn and his family.

Posted by: TassieTiger | December 26, 2009 11:02 AM

Has this job ever been the premier job in MLS? Under Arena it was a new job in a new league. Most coaches since have certainly lacked big-time name recognition that other teams have had in the coaching position. That hasn't always lead to success on the field (Arena-NY, Gullit-LA). And DC's highest-profile coaches have been ex-players that made their names overseas.

Then again, do we want a high-profile foreign coach not used to the MLS/American system of draft/cap/NCAA? Probably not. They all seem to get chewed up and spit out as well.

And the fans have been riding the coach forever. Remember, a certain section of supporters banded together back in the Rongen era to hire a plane to fly over the stadium trailing a banner saying "It's the coach, stupid" or something to that effect. So a few people on a message board spouting off about how bad the coaching is probably isn't read by the FO in the first place, and has probably less effect than we like to pretend.

Thx,

Jay!

Posted by: jayrockers | December 26, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

@jayrockers - "So a few people on a message board spouting off about how bad the coaching is probably isn't read by the FO in the first place, and has probably less effect than we like to pretend."

Oh, it's certainly read by the FO. And it has more impact than you might expect.

Posted by: fret44 | December 26, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

The Onalfo vitriole hath started, only to be pale reminders of the Rongen and Soehn sputum that flew forth from the mouths of impatient fans.

Does he deserve a chance?

A) He's been given the chance. He failed and what makes you think he'll do any better at United?
B) He's had mediocre talent and/or poor management. What makes you think he'll do any better at United?
C) Just give him another chance!


Posted by: delantero | December 26, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Does he deserve a chance?

A) He's been given the chance. He failed and what makes you think he'll do any better at United?
B) He's had mediocre talent and/or poor management. What makes you think he'll do any better at United?
C) Just give him another chance!


Posted by: delantero | December 26, 2009 8:54 PM
--------------------------------------------------------

A) As Ruthie succinctly showed, Onalfo produced pretty good results with KC. Considering what he had to work with, he probably go more out of that team than anyone had a right to expect.

B) DC has a mix of young and old players who are better than their counterparts at KC, with the possible exception of Hartman, Lopez and Wolff. DC has added a player in Castillo that Onalfo would have killed to have at KC. If the goalkeeping situation can be resolved and a strong striker brought in, he'll have a strong foundation to work with.

Does the front office have it in them to get the right mix? The have done it before, and the near-miss signing with Veron shows that the team is well-regarded in South America, at least. I think they will get it right in the next year or two. Perhaps Hamid will be ready in goal -- more likely, there will be someone else...but, they will have someone in place. It's also 99% likely they will have a DP slot or two to upgrade the striker position. Remember -- these are the guys who found Emilio in Honduras and brought him here to tally a 20-goal season -- and nearly signed Veron when the big clubs in South America weren't chasing him. They have a pretty decent track record of talent evaluation, even if they misfired a couple of years ago with all those South Americans that didn't pan out. They do best when they aim high. I think they'll find the goal-score the team needs.

C) I'd rather take a chance on a guy who has an impressive coaching resume like Onalfo, than a retired player with less or even no no coaching experience.

Posted by: fischy | December 27, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

"with the possible exception of Hartman, Lopez and Wolff . ."

And Conrad, Harrington and Arnaud.

They are equal or better than United's counter parts . . I'd take either of them over James or Burch . . . and Arnaud would start for us.

Posted by: delantero | December 27, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Beasley hurt in training yesterday... Thigh... 2-3 weeks... but really good news otherwise...

Mo Edu got in in the 74th, for his first first team action since the last game of last season.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | December 27, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Altidore started for Hull against Man U. and earned a penalty. 1-1 in the 72nd minute.

Posted by: isaac101 | December 27, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Jozy goes 83 minutes. Hull now down 3-1.

Posted by: isaac101 | December 27, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Jozy had one really good chance -- a blistering shot that almost troubled he goalie, Kucsak. He did draw a corner kick by pressuring Vidic. He also looked incredibly unfit -- in the 65th minute, he was taken down battling for possession with Ji-Sung Park. He came up with a cramp, and wen back down...to he amazement and derision of he color announcer. He was ripping throughout the second half, and generally looked like someone who has a lot of work head of him t get the kind of fitness level Wane Rooney showed on the other side.

Posted by: fischy | December 27, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

At delanero -- I"ll give you Conrad. Harrington's probably better than our center backs, bu I'll take Namoff over him. And Arnaud is a step above Quaranta and Pontius, but they're getting there.

Posted by: fischy | December 27, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Darn this "t" key....

Posted by: fischy | December 27, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

I think the expression you're looking for is "Oh shi !"

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | December 27, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

90 days until United's first 2010 league match!

Posted by: Curious99 | December 27, 2009 6:07 PM | Report abuse

I think Onalfo would have a pretty good chance of being very successful at DCU.

Posted by: DadRyan | December 27, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

I'm still holding out hope for Etch...

Posted by: alecw81 | December 27, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Bottom line, it's easy for a talented coach to turn a team around in MLS. Onalfo has proven to not be one of them.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | December 27, 2009 9:39 PM | Report abuse

That's funny, I'd consider Bruce Arena a talented coach and he didn't do JACK for the Red Bulls.

Posted by: DadRyan | December 27, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

DadRyan: that's because if the GM holds all the strings it doesn't matter if you have the Bruce or not. He's not exactly tanking in LA.

Posted by: dsheon1 | December 28, 2009 12:12 AM | Report abuse

I think Onalfo will be solid. He got a raw deal in Kansas City. He mentored under Papa Bruce. That should be good enough. I am happy its not Porter. College soccer is garbage.

Posted by: alan19 | December 28, 2009 12:21 AM | Report abuse

DadRyan: that's because if the GM holds all the strings it doesn't matter if you have the Bruce or not. He's not exactly tanking in LA.
------------------------

You're just reinforcing my point dsheon. Vermes helped himself to Onalfo's old job in KC, no? I'm just too optimistic to accept UD's "bottom line". Onalfo could easily do worse than Arena did in New Jersey, or he could be just what the doctor ordered. Either way I'm just excited to have some sort of decision made regardless of the soccer mystics' prophecy. The club needs a coach already.

Posted by: DadRyan | December 28, 2009 12:39 AM | Report abuse

fans are like willows
with only the slightest breeze,
they bend from the force

tenacious absent
from fans vocabulary
long term planning, too

front office exists
to look at the big picture
future champions


slow day at work

Posted by: J_S_F | December 28, 2009 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: torrey151 | December 28, 2009 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Good, maybe we can get to more important issues, such as rebuilding this team. Good start with Castillo...

Posted by: Reignking | December 28, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Uninspired. Lame. Awful. Mediocre.

Take your pick. These all describe Onalfo.

Posted by: doctortechie | December 28, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Hey DC!!
Get ready to watch the most boring and uninspired team in the league. Hope you like 0-0 draws!!

Posted by: timmy6 | December 28, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

""Burnley boss Owen Coyle is ready to snap up United States tough guy midfielder Stuart Holden - the only Scot who will make it to the World Cup finals next summer."

Since when has little Stuart Holden been considered a "tough guy"?

Posted by: delantero | December 28, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Hey timmy!
How are those hot, young, upstarts Espinoza, Myers, Zusi, etc. panning out bro? If anyone should be worried about watching uninspired, boring soccer it's gotta be Wizard's supporters.

Posted by: DadRyan | December 28, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

""Burnley boss Owen Coyle is ready to snap up United States tough guy midfielder Stuart Holden - the only Scot who will make it to the World Cup finals next summer."

Since when has little Stuart Holden been considered a "tough guy"?

Posted by: delantero

After he had his eye busted in a bar fight?

Posted by: Reignking | December 28, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Reignking | December 28, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

DCUs first game? At KC's baseball field.

Posted by: Reignking | December 28, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: DadRyan | December 28, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Can you tell I'm back at work? :)

Posted by: Reignking | December 28, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

So its official
Onalfo is the new coach!
Just found out like a minute ago..

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | December 28, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | December 28, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

"Hey timmy!
How are those hot, young, upstarts Espinoza, Myers, Zusi, etc. panning out bro? If anyone should be worried about watching uninspired, boring soccer it's gotta be Wizard's supporters. "

Now that Onalfo is gone they can get some playing time in an up tempo system.

The only team with less goals than KC last year was NY

Posted by: timmy6 | December 28, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Stop the whining now, people.

Welcome back, Curt. Here's to a long, successful run.

Vamos United!!!

Posted by: PrinceBuster21 | December 28, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Wow, in no time at all Fulham's fortune changes completely... I should never have started watching...

Posted by: DadRyan | December 28, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

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