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Fire Interviews Fraser

While D.C. United's bid to finalize a deal with the University of Akron's Caleb Porter continues (Curt Onalfo is also in the running), the Chicago Fire has been interviewing candidates for its head coaching vacancy.

Real Salt Lake assistant Robin Fraser met with the Fire this week in Chicago, the Insider has learned from multiple sources. Fraser, who turns 43 this month, has been on the coaching staff with MLS champion RSL for 2 1/2 years. He was a two-time MLS defender of the year and spent 10 seasons in the league.

The Fire declined to comment on specific individuals, but said: "We are meeting with numerous candidates and our focus, first and foremost, is finding a coach who will lead us to an MLS championship."

By Steve Goff  |  December 10, 2009; 1:04 PM ET
Categories:  MLS  
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Comments

some players will be older than our coach ... ugh. I still have my memories of United's earlier success to hold on to though.

Posted by: beergorila | December 10, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

finalize a deal? did I miss something?

Posted by: OWNTF | December 10, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

I don't think the age of the coach has much to do with it. I'd rather Not have a jaded Onalfo as our coach. Not to say I was always praying for Porter to through, but clearly the selection wasn't that great to begin with.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | December 10, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Honestly, and new blood is good in my opinion. Time to try something new, even if it might not work out quite as planned.

Posted by: PEddy | December 10, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

By the way -- that's an awfully big matzoh ball you dropped out there:

"While D.C. United's bid to finalize a deal with the University of Akron's Caleb Porter continues..."

Unless I missed something, and I don't see it searching the blog, you haven't even hinted that Porter was first in DCU's thinking, much less broke the news that the team is trying to finalize a deal with him. I kinda had the sense they were still waiting for the end of the season to talk to him....

Posted by: fischy | December 10, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

I, for one, am excited by the idea of a young coach with high ideals about attacking soccer. I know it's the internet and I know we're sports fans, so we're not exactly rational here, but come on, everybody! Let's give the guy a chance and the FO a bit of the benefit of the doubt, yeah? I've been as frustrated as the next guy with the past two years, but we still were competitive - we weren't Red Bull. This franchise hasn't collapsed in a heap, and some new blood will probably do us some good.

I have and will have a much stronger opinion on the potential new players we could get than on the manager. There are too many important behind the scenes factors that we are not privy to for us to make informed Chicken Little predictions at this point.

Posted by: VercengetorixII | December 10, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

"I, for one, am excited by the idea of a young coach with high ideals about attacking soccer."
==================

+1

Posted by: joedoc1 | December 10, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Porter must be a talented young man to achieve what he has in college. I'm more than willing to give him a chance.

And how 'bout career newspaperman Steven Goff burying the lead!!?

Posted by: Kev29 | December 10, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

My opinion is a college coach in the final four shouldn't be negotiating til the season is over.

Posted by: OWNTF | December 10, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

One good recruiting year in soccer is NOT, I say NOT the same as taking a team to the MLS payoffs two years in a row. You people enamored of Porter need to take off your rose colored glasses.
And to suggest that Onalfo is jaded suggests you are an idiot.

Posted by: Ruthie1 | December 10, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

I'd prefer someone with a European pedigree. Still pining for Nowak I guess. Man, he was a great coach.

Thing about these college guys, it's such a different game. You never know how it's going to work out. I guess you never really know. If it's Onalfo and Porter, I'd vote Porter. But I'm not really sold on him.

Posted by: Matte | December 10, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Caleb Porter - Sounds like a good name for some home brewed beer in Lot 8.

Posted by: Tweaked | December 10, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

@OWNTF,

But Porter could be the second coming of the Special One!

His team will be champions and he will get special job with United. There will be a special press conference and an interview with Special WaPo Blog!

(CAN SOMEONE PLEASE BRING JOSE & CO. back?!!?!?!)

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | December 10, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

I suppose it will be interesting when Akron crashes out in the semis to UNC...

Posted by: Barracudas | December 10, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

I think this calls for a home-brew recipe contest to determine the true, official "Caleb Porter" for Lot 8. Maybe, a local brewery like Hook and Ladder or Flying Dog could give it a whirl, and it could join Guinness on tap inside the stadium....

Posted by: fischy | December 10, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Will RFK be called the Porterhouse? I'll steak my reputation on it.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | December 10, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

"I, for one, am excited by the idea of a young coach with high ideals about attacking soccer."
==================

+1
==================

+2

Posted by: dcbird | December 10, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to ask Steve again... do you think that money was a factor in United's coaching search? As in not wanting to pay someone a lot of it.

Posted by: Kev29 | December 10, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

not so much age, but young enough to never have managed professionals before. love him or hate him, but watch the roy keane/henry handball clip again, and tell me we are looking to hire someone who will command respect & have a knowledge of the game like that. we are the flagship mls franchise, and should look for a head coach as such.

Posted by: beergorila | December 10, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

I don't really understand this choice. Even though college coaches have had success only Bruce Arena and Sigi Schmid stand out. Bruce did it in 1996 in a young league with mostly college players and moved on to the national team to get experience. Schmid accumulated experience through many years in the league and he didn't win a championship immediately. The league is changing. Porter hasnt had any professional experience. He has never experienced CONCACAF Champions League as a player or coach. Hes never coached a long MLS season as an assistant or coach. He has never coached a Jaime Moreno or Danny Szetela or Quaranta who have been professionals since they were teenagers. Yes, Peter Nowak was successful but how many times are you going to take that risk. Don't understand the clubs thinking with all of the options in the world

Posted by: totalfootballer | December 10, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

I don't know squat about Porter, but his bio reads Winner. From a student/player to asst coach to coach. Winner.

""During his time as an assistant with IU, the Hoosiers won five Big Ten Conference championships and made six NCAA Tournament appearances - including four trips to the College Cup. Indiana won consecutive national championships in 2003 and in 2004.

A 1998 graduate of Indiana with a degree in sports management, Porter was a four-year letterwinner in the midfield for the Hoosiers. He was just the second three-year captain in IU history and was the runner-up for the 1997 Hermann Trophy, awarded to the nation's top collegiate player.

""As a coach, Caleb is a tremendous recruiter - as fine a recruiter as I've had," Yeagley said. "He is one of the bright stars of this profession. As a player he was one of the best leaders I've had. He is a natural leader, and was a fierce competitor. He always held himself and his teammates to a high standard. Akron is a natural fit for Caleb, and this announcement is a win-win situation for both parties."

From 2003-05, Porter has served as a coach and senior age group trainer with the Bloomington Cutters Soccer Club, winning an Under-18 Indiana state championship in 2004 and a U-19 state championship in 2005.

http://www.gozips.com

Posted by: delantero | December 10, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Honestly, don't think any foreign coaches want to hop the pond for an MLS team that can't even make it to the playoffs. The salary isn't very tempting, either. Our options were always going to be fairly select.

Am I really an idiot for noticing that Onalfo is fine with a dull, uninspiring, successful by default squad? OK. But KC is not what we should be shooting for. Better than Soehn? That's not setting the bar high enough either.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | December 10, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

"we are the flagship mls franchise"
Afternoon iced coffee just sprayed out my nose. I think that title can continue gathering dust in our imagination until United can make up for the pants around the ankles with egg salad on our face embarrassment that was the Open Cup defense in 09.

There are plenty of other clubs in the league making moves and looking sharp while United looks absolutely toothless. Hiring a hot, young coach who might be inspire his lads into fighting for glory instead of alienating them is a step in the right direction. So glad the era of Tommy's dog house is over.
Vamos United!

Posted by: DadRyan | December 10, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

"I, for one, am excited by the idea of a young coach with high ideals about attacking soccer."
==================
+ 0.5
I like the idea... if the personnel can support it. I also remember Rongen trying to teach the 2000 team to play a 4-3-3, when he hadn't the people to pull it off. Attacking soccer is wonderful, beautiful stuff, but if you try to accomplish it without gifted attacking players, you're only p***ing up a rope.

That said, I'm optimistic that, if Caleb Porter is indeed going to be United's next coach, his fire and enthusiasm will inspire the team. A positive attitude is a force-multiplier, as one of our great generals once said.

Posted by: schmuckatelli | December 10, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

"we are the flagship mls franchise"
Afternoon iced coffee just sprayed out my nose. I think that title can continue gathering dust in our imagination until United can make up for the pants around the ankles with egg salad on our face embarrassment that was the Open Cup defense in 09.

Posted by: DadRyan | December 10, 2009 2:37 PM

I agree, that train has sailed. We cannot survive on reputation alone.

Posted by: Kev29 | December 10, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

@DadRyan: hope that didn't sting ...

Posted by: Matte | December 10, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

"Afternoon iced coffee just sprayed out my nose."

I now have acute sinusitis just reading that sentence. Thanks, DR.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | December 10, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I like Porter as an idea (who knows if he'll work out) but it's a gamble. it's taking a chance on being different. frankly, what the team has been doing in the past few seasons is safe, expected. From keeping the aged stars familiar with the DCU plan, to hiring an internal coach (Soehn) familiar with the program, to looking for international players that fit the system, even at high cost (the Gonzalos, anyone?) to ignoring the development of young Americans through the draft, even Gallardo fit that plan, perfectly acceptable, safe and everyone figured it would work. but those things, frankly, didn't work.

so roll the dice on a new guy. the things DCU has done outside the team's traditional box over the past two seasons have worked, right? bringing back Tino, actually drafting players (Pontius, Wallace) why not try a new type of coach? Onalfo is a perfectly safe choice, no one can fault the team for getting him. Porter is a bigger gamble. maybe he falls flat, or maybe he's a revelation. we'll find out...

Posted by: joshuaostevens | December 10, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: BlackandRedRedDevil | December 10, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Will RFK be called the Porterhouse? I'll steak my reputation on it.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | December 10, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse
-------------------------------------------

now that is funny as hell!!

Posted by: torrey151 | December 10, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Ruthie1:

You're not the only person doing this, but I have to ask:

Why is it, during this coaching search, taking any kind of positive angle towards any candidate is treated like a lifelong statement of devotion to that coach and only that coach? Is there any room for looking at what good or bad qualities a coach can bring to the club without dividing people into "for" or "against"?

Matte:

You are exactly where I am. I've seen Onalfo struggle to get his team out of the bottom third in MLS. In my opinion, that roster is good enough to be better than it has been.

Porter is definitely the unknown, and with the last NCAA coach to make the jump (Schellas Hyndman) it took a long time to really adjust to MLS. However, I've seen what Onalfo can do, and from here it looks like a surefire path to continuing the mediocrity we've had with Soehn.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | December 10, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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