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DCU Coaching/Front Office Update

Chad Ashton, D.C. United's top assistant coach the past three seasons, has agreed to become the club's technical director, sources told the Insider on Wednesday night. His primary responsibility, one source said, will be to oversee United's youth academy. An official announcement is expected soon.

Ashton's future hung in the balance after Tom Soehn's departure as head coach last month. (Soehn brought Ashton to DCU from the University of Denver in 2007.) However, Ashton is well-liked by club management and has continued to represent United on scouting missions, including the NCAA tournament. Besides academy duties, he will work with General Manager Dave Kasper on player personnel issues.

With Ashton moving into a new position, a new head coach will be able to bring in his own top assistant. If, for example, Curt Onalfo is hired, perhaps he would choose Kris Kelderman, a fellow Virginia graduate and former DCU player who served as Onalfo's assistant in Kansas City.

Recently retired Ben Olsen might join the staff as a secondary assistant and longtime goalkeepers coach Mark Simpson is expected to be retained regardless of the head coach.

Meantime, we told you last month that the Los Angeles Galaxy was in the process of signing Landon Donovan to a lucrative, long-term contract, and today the club made it official. Now we are getting word that the Galaxy is hoping to sign at least two young Brazilian prospects this winter.

USA-Netherlands friendly is set: March 3 in Amsterdam (ESPN2).

Reminder: For the next few weeks, while I attempt to chip away at a mountain of vacation time, updates will appear primarily on the Insider's Twitter page.

By Steve Goff  |  December 16, 2009; 8:00 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Next: D.C. United Updates

Comments

I'm choosing to interpret this as an indication that the FO has been reading the fan furor on BS and the blogs and is responding by emphatically saying "Chad Ashton will not be United's head coach."

Thank you, Front Office, for something this offseason. Finally.

Posted by: TheAMT | December 16, 2009 8:11 PM | Report abuse

I love you Goff.

Posted by: redskinsux | December 16, 2009 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Ives reports SJ won't let United talk to Yallop and Spencer(Houston) turned United down.

Posted by: decoi | December 16, 2009 8:21 PM | Report abuse

It seems kind of odd to me to have a GM and a technical director (elsewhere, these are more or less the same function). Other than that, I don't see this as good or bad. I have no idea what Ashton is capable of or what his specialties are, so I don't know what he can do in this job. I wish him well, since obviously a good youth academy and good personnel decisions are things we want.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | December 16, 2009 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Keep those Twitter updates coming, Steve!

Especially on the coaching disast... I mean, situation.

Posted by: Sultano | December 16, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse

All our "Technical Director" gets to do is run the Academy? I thought John Maesner did that already, without the fancy title. I guess it's just a nice way of giving someone the Front Office likes a "job" so that the new head coach can bring in his own assistants. I imagine that is one of the first questions any prospective coach asks: "Can I name my own staff"? DCU's answer: "Why of course. Just give me a moment to pretend to promote Chad Ashton."

Posted by: b18bolo | December 16, 2009 8:28 PM | Report abuse

decoi:

That might be a blessing in disguise. I don't think Spencer will fit the style (Houston, and the soccer Spencer experienced as a player, are more direct than DC tends to be), and I also don't think Yallop is a very good manager any more. Honestly, it looks more and more like he stumbled upon a special group with the original Earthquakes, given his struggles with Canada and the quite poor teams he's lead in MLS since (in LA and in San Jose).

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | December 16, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Chest-

I forgot, who are your top candidates for head coach? What are your thoughts on the prospects of bringing in Etcheverry, Onalfo, maybe another college coach, like Cirovski?

Posted by: redskinsux | December 16, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Klinsmann!!

Posted by: beergorila | December 16, 2009 9:00 PM | Report abuse

redskinsux: you are over-egging Chest on.

Updates on the Twitter page? OK, someone will have to be in charge of checking the twitter site 20 times each day and re-posting the updates here. Volunteers? Anyone? Anyone? Anyone else? OK DadRyan.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | December 16, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Chest: Just what is this "style" a new DC coach is expected to play? Doesn't a coach tend to dictate style? I know most of us like the short passing game over the kick and run, but surely how we play is a function of the coach's preference and the players' capabilities. Or is there something in the RFK air that turns United players and coaches into South Americans?

Posted by: b18bolo | December 16, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

""However, Ashton is well-liked by club management""

Is that a euphemism for "corporate type"?

Posted by: delantero | December 16, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

""Or is there something in the RFK air that turns United players and coaches into South Americans?""

It's the blackouts, the decrepit structure, the age . . makes them feel at home.

Posted by: delantero | December 16, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse

I don't think the Klinsmanns came back to the USA to leave California all over again.

I have to say that I have been defending the way the DCU FO has approached this, but it's beginning to look like they're in total meltdown. I don't know if they even have anyone in mind they might want to hire. The article about Etcheverry was interesting as it seemed to imply his club was waiting for him to inform them in the next 24 hours if he was going to continue...and he seemed to prefer DC. I don't know if DC management thinks Marco's up to the job, but it does sound like he's interested.

If not Marco, then who? It seems as if the team has decided they don't want either Williams or Onalfo (or, maybe they've both dropped out on their own). If that's so, I don't know where we stand....Otherwise, I don't understand the scrambling to seek interviews with Yallop and Spencer.

Posted by: fischy | December 16, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Maybe KP can bring a big name back with him from Abu Dhabi...?

Posted by: fischy | December 16, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Ives reported Spencer turned DC down
- - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: owendylan | December 16, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

According to this story DCU Management is really hurting this time: http://www.soccerbyives.net/soccer_by_ives/2009/12/dccoachsearch.html Posted by: fedster

Oh, I see an Ives/Goff THROWDOWN!!!

No worries, you'll always be Goffinho to me.

And yes, I would prefer Yallop to OhNo!lfo!

Posted by: delantero | December 16, 2009 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Poor goffinho, thanks for the updates on your vacation. This coaching search is turning into an absolute debacle the longer it goes on!

Posted by: strago | December 16, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

101 days until United's first 2010 league match!

Posted by: Curious99 | December 16, 2009 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Show Goff some respect guys. Stop linking that Red Bull fanboy'z premature ejaculation of a blog here. Ives "breaks" news that doesn't even exist.

Posted by: DadRyan | December 16, 2009 10:12 PM | Report abuse

DadRyan-

Perhaps you should show Ives some respect.

Posted by: redskinsux | December 16, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

did LA acquire a second DP slot at some point?

Posted by: fedssocr | December 16, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Dare I say, United's stadium situation is clearly impacting the luster on United's storied MLS past? I don't get the impression people are queing to knock down the front office's door for a coaching slot. Feels like we are scraping the bottom of the barrel. Just sayin...Maybe there is somethig magical in the works. There's been a lot of talk of KC of late with the Onalfo speculation. We don't appear to be too many rungs removed from KC. At least they have a coach, not that I'm jealous. This sux.

Posted by: JaimeSegundo | December 16, 2009 10:24 PM | Report abuse

If we are going to bring in a college coach lets go with the offensive mind coach from UMBC. We need some attacking soccer

Posted by: highlandtownoldtimer | December 16, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Finally. I thought that deck chair would Never be rearranged.

Also not sure what to think of Donovan's new deal. It's a bit like saying, "Not only can you play for Everton, but we can guarantee in writing that it will lead to nothing!" Is this just going to make the transfer fee larger, or is this another obstacle?

Posted by: UnitedDemon | December 16, 2009 10:41 PM | Report abuse

"I'm on vacation until Jan. 4."

Famous last words.

Posted by: delantero | December 16, 2009 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Are you friggin' kiddin' me redskinsux?

You might as well turn in your Insider Loyalist badge at dispatch and go join the "Mafia".

Posted by: DadRyan | December 16, 2009 11:13 PM | Report abuse

Jaime and Benny for coach.

Posted by: kris77 | December 16, 2009 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, somebody wants Pete Caringi? I'm not sure that his wife wants him anymore!

Except for Levi and Bulls, UMBC is not attack minded. Give the ball to one of these guys and get out of the way.

Pete has a long history in the area - but I wouldn't expect DCU to engage him.

Posted by: J_S_F | December 16, 2009 11:37 PM | Report abuse

I have a slightly different take on Ives' story. People are assuming that Porter decided to stay in school and then DCU asked about Spencer and Yallop only to have both say "no". As I read it, when they were assembling a pool of candidates, they inquired about both (along with Richie Williams, etc.). Spencer took his name out. SJ wouldn't let us talk to Yallop. I'm sure there are other coaches (Cirovski?) who didn't express interest for one reason or another. Heck, we probably inquired about Arena too--and I'm sure LAG said no.

What's so alarming about starting about by asking about a lot of people? Isn't this completely contrary to the alarm that some people have expressed that DCU put all it's eggs in one basket?

Posted by: JoeW1 | December 17, 2009 6:56 AM | Report abuse

Steve, thanks for reporting from "vacation." Take a break, no one says on their deathbed "I wish I had spent more time at the office."

Posted by: griffin1108 | December 17, 2009 8:00 AM | Report abuse

Thank goodness Steve gave us an update. In his absence I was getting an allergic reaction... Ives.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | December 17, 2009 8:29 AM | Report abuse

no one says on their deathbed "I wish I had spent more time at the office."

Posted by: griffin1108
-----------------------
I'm not sure Goff spends any time in the office. Seems to spend a lot of it in the car though...and in press boxes.

Posted by: troy6 | December 17, 2009 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | December 17, 2009 8:35 AM | Report abuse

George Gelnovatch for DCU coach!

Posted by: Ron16 | December 17, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

i hear vinny cerrato is available.

Posted by: stairs | December 17, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

What's so alarming about starting about by asking about a lot of people? Isn't this completely contrary to the alarm that some people have expressed that DCU put all it's eggs in one basket?

Posted by: JoeW1

They are going to whine and complain no matter what happens.

Posted by: Reignking | December 17, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Cerrato resigned!!!!!

Posted by: Reignking | December 17, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

They are going to whine and complain no matter what happens.

Posted by: Reignking | December 17, 2009 9:33 AM |


Right! They're the "Supporters".

Posted by: JkR- | December 17, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

I think the issue here is all about appearances. Right now it looks like DCU is in a bit of disarray, at least from the accounts given to us by the press. Are they really? Who knows. From a PR perspective, this is not the way you want a coaching search to go down, or at least publicized. The team hasn't gotten in front of this, and the way it's being played out in the soccer-obsessed press is that DCU doesn't have all their ducks lined up and is scrambling for their 14th or whatever choice for coach. I think that's where the criticism lies. Sure, they can, and should, interview many different people to find the best for the job. But what is presented is that DCU keeps getting turned down or the door slammed in their face. That doesn't do much to build confidence amongst some of the fanbase.

Posted by: nairbsod | December 17, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Hmmm. Some argy bargy going on at Mizzou, eh Joe Thor? Or whatever name you're going by today.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | December 17, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Sounds like it's become a 'fracas' actually...

Posted by: JkR- | December 17, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

It's whatever computer I'm on at the moment, my off-ramp friend.

Vinny resigning, male cheerleaders getting beat up... what's next?

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | December 17, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Keeping Ashford and Simpson is a sign that the team is not serious about moving forward. Unless that German doctor who does all the hernia surgeries has a stake in the team. Seriously, fitness has been a critical issue since Ashton arrived at the team. And Simpson has been able to develop one keeper (Perkins) out of the 20 or so that have been on the roster during his tenure.

Also, I hear that Ashton didn't really get along with the reserve players (read: developmental and draft picks) when he was coaching them up.

Thx,

Jay!

Posted by: jayrockers | December 17, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

A "Fire Vinny" billboard truck crossed my path yesterday as I was leaving my daughter's preschool. Wished I'd had my camera on hand to capture it, and was curious about rates and impact of just such a display. Would a "Hire Chest" truck do the trick? ;)

Someone send that cheerleader a Sounders jersey and 1 way ticket to Seattle, he'll blend right on in up there.


Posted by: DadRyan | December 17, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Higher Chest ads are already in the Post's SUnday magazine.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | December 17, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

It's whatever computer I'm on at the moment, my off-ramp friend.

Vinny resigning, male cheerleaders getting beat up... what's next?

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor

"Troubled" WR Chris Henry has died. I know this was an accident, but the Bengals really tried to help him through a lot.

Posted by: Reignking | December 17, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

The implications of all these coaches turning down DCU are staggering. TO have a college coach from Akron, OH turn DCU down is the biggest red flag of them all. It's not as if we are talking about storied programs like Wake, UVa, or Maryland here; it's Akron, for God's sake. It must be bad in DCU if someone from there turns them down. The reasons for that are along the same lines as why MLS coaches are not interested:

Yes, the stadium situation is a factor. Not knowing if the same ownership is going to be in place during the term of a coach's contract is certainly important, and if this issue isn't resolved within three years, we can bet the talk will start about Will bailing.

The larger reason, however, is that DCU as a whole is universally disliked at all soccer levels in this country. The upper manangement is perceived as arrogant, disrespectful, and dishonest. In particular Kasper is regarded as a used-car salesman who cannot be trusted. (I suppose that's redundant). Frankly, the word anong MLS coaches, assistants and head men alike, is unless it is truly an offer that can't be refused, why open oneself up to the chronic mismanagement, dishonesty and prevarication that are the hallmarks of Kasper's style.

Posted by: lgm6986 | December 17, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

I wonder why Denis Hamlett is not part of the mix. I may have missed this but the guy just wins. Yes he had a quality DP but still I like that the team played with discipline and would play with speed. Besides he was a great player at George Mason University. His Chicago Fire were on the brink of the MLS Cup ... Rimando and Real was just not to be denied when it came down to PKs.

Posted by: GoMason | December 17, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Well, I'm already tired of this coach stuff. I know it gives us something to talk about, but not enough to sustain several threads. So I'll just entertain myself with a potential headline for Chicago's coaching search (which is down to Soehn and Jesse Marsch according to Goff's Twitter feed):

"Say It Ain't Soehn!"

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | December 17, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

The Redskins just hired Bruce Allen. It is actually a good front office hire. I never thought I would see the day that DCU may actually look more bumbling than the Skins.

Posted by: croftonpost | December 17, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Two other unrelated things:

I dreamed last night that USA-England was tied 3-3 in the 93rd minute. Don't know how it got there or what happened after, but I woke up thinking "I'll take it!"

Also thinking of planning a little vacation around the US game with the Netherlands on March 3rd (wish I could do S. Africa, but not gonna happen). While looking for ticket/travel info I came across this post that might help anyone thinking of doing the same:

http://www.noshortcorners.com/2009/12/amsterdam-tips-for-appropriatly-eager.html

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | December 17, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

You can probably pick up some Durban Poison while you're in Amsterdam and get so high you think you are in South Africa...:)

Posted by: DadRyan | December 17, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Durban Poison? Hmmm...never heard of that. Man, that US/Dutch clash is a dream trip for me, but a little pricey coming all the way from the West Coast. Guess, I'll have to partake in SF (A'dam West) and then imagine myself there. Maybe some OG Kush.

Posted by: EssEff | December 17, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Go on vacation! This will all be here when you get back.

Posted by: hacksaw | December 17, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

@DadRyan - that's the plan!

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | December 17, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

FSC reports that FIFA denied Arsenal's attempt to sue the Dutch FF for the injury to van Persie. Ergo, a precedent for telling AC Milan to shut up about Gooch.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | December 17, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

I thought you were on vacation! Good for Landon. It will be good for him to go on for a while at Everton. And in regards to the DCU Coach...what is it with DC and NYRB? Training camp in what...25 days? And no manager?

Posted by: PremSoccerShop | December 17, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

How about Christopher Sullivan as DC coach. The FSC TV commentator is a former player and his winded analysis speaks for itself.

Posted by: juke2 | December 17, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

The larger reason, however, is that DCU as a whole is universally disliked at all soccer levels in this country. The upper manangement is perceived as arrogant, disrespectful, and dishonest. In particular Kasper is regarded as a used-car salesman who cannot be trusted. (I suppose that's redundant). Frankly, the word anong MLS coaches, assistants and head men alike, is unless it is truly an offer that can't be refused, why open oneself up to the chronic mismanagement, dishonesty and prevarication that are the hallmarks of Kasper's style.

Posted by: lgm6986

That's one heck of an assertion. I'm not asking for proof, but do know some of these people that say this? Or are you picking it up from some blog?

Posted by: Reignking | December 17, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

I can't help but think that choosing Onalfo would be a completely uninspired, too safe, "couldn't get our first choice" fall-back decision. That kind of thinking won't result in big changes on the field or in the playoffs.

Posted by: soccerman | December 17, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Good point, Reignking.

Your coal has just been replaced with "Burn Notice - Season 1" on DVD.

Posted by: joedoc1 | December 17, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Ha! I had to torrent that :)

Now I know why they call them Rapid Vienna -- two goals in 9 minutes.

Posted by: Reignking | December 17, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully Will Chang doesn't get excited by the new top-executive on the market and go out and hire Vinny Cerrato.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | December 17, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | December 17, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Just ordered a United replica for one of the little Docs... prices are half off.

Posted by: joedoc1 | December 17, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

In response to lgm6986, who says "a college coach from Akron, OH turn[ing] DCU down is the biggest red flag of them" and claims that "DCU as a whole is universally disliked at all soccer levels in this country."

See Paul Gardner's interesting column in today's Soccer America. Gardner thinks Porter would not have been a good choice for DC United, because DC United's brand is attacking soccer, which helps makes DC United MLS's flagship. He seems to suggest that Porter may have pulled back because he understood that. He plainly admires DC United and particularly Kevin Payne and DC United management.

http://www.socceramerica.com/blogs/soccer_talk/?p=184

Posted by: DCUSince96 | December 17, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

@DCUSince 96:

Kevin Payne seems to know everything there is to know about an attacking brand of soccer, and he chose to pursue Porter. That either means that Gardner is wrong, and Porter does actually pursue an attacking brand of soccer. Or it means Kevin Payne wants to switch the brand of soccer played by United. Or it means he doesn't know what he's doing. Regardless of what it means, Paul Gardner is a tool.
Another observation: United's attacking brand of style has gotten us into the playoffs five times in the last 10 years. When you consider that over half the teams in the league make the playoffs every year, that puts us squarely as a below average team. So frankly, I don't really care what brand of soccer Kevin Payne thinks we should play. I want to win.

Posted by: dsheon1 | December 17, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

So does this new contract extension for Donovan continue to have him "grandfathered" to not count as a DP?

That's complete b.s. if so, and he should have turned them down in pursuit of a contract in Europe. You aren't getting any younger Landon, with Davies being out this year, it's looking like 2014 will be our best shot at a good finish.

Posted by: alecw81 | December 17, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

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