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Poll: Did Curt Onalfo deserve to be fired by D.C. United?

What do you think about D.C. United's decision to fire Curt Onalfo. Vote here, and leave your thoughts in the comments.

By Matt Bonesteel  |  August 4, 2010; 10:17 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Next: More news concerning Curt Onalfo's dismissal


as people have said in the other comments he never seemed to be the right choice.

But clearly Kasper has to go. Have you ever asked Kevin Payne directly about accountability in the front office?

Posted by: fedssocr | August 4, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic

Posted by: Kev29 | August 4, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

I voted yes, only because there was a "Not sure" option. Yes he was handed a terrible roster, and there were injuries, but still. the record speaks for itself. sadly, the coach is always the first to go. owners and GMs don't fire themselves.

Posted by: torrey151 | August 4, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Coach Onalfo never got it right; too slow in making adjustments/changes with field players...took too long to integrate new signings. Bust at KC and bust in DC...too many mainstays on the team make the same little mental/technical errors which can't win games...give Jaime Moreno the interim coaching job and see what happens!!!

Posted by: juke2 | August 4, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Onalfo should not have been hired in the first place. The team needs to look for an experienced manager with a proven winning record to take charge here.

Posted by: onenetnut | August 4, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

I figured Onalfo would be let go, but after the season, in an organization-wide purge along with Kasper and perhaps Payne. Or maybe that was just wishful thinking.
Canning him now gives the appearance that someone thinks the team should be doing better than they are. As currently constructed, I'm not sure that's true.

Posted by: mjhoya12 | August 4, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

I'm anxious to hear Onalfo's side of the story. I'm sure he has some regrets now. For example, when the FO issued the papal bull that no one line up in central midfield (just to prove their harebrained theory that DCU could win anyway), what if Onalfo had said "OK", and then just done it anyway? He still might have been fired, but at least would have struck a blow for himself and against the abysmal upper management...

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | August 4, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

I too voted yes, but what I really think is that responsibility for DC United's failings on the filed lies higher. Kevin Payne said it best "Recent performances have convinced us that we need to make a change at the top."

But Curt Onalfo was not "the top." I hope you will ask Kevin Payne about where "the top" really is, and when changes will be made there.

I have tremendous personal feeling for Beninho but am really worried that he is being set up to be yet another scapegoat when was is really needed is "change at the top."

Posted by: DCUSince96 | August 4, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Don't get me wrong, I love Benny, but I hope his appointment is truly interim. He has eight months coaching experience on a losing team. The practice of hiring old DCU boys has got to stop. I can't pretend to know who is out there (other than Bradley) but there has to be someone outside the organization with coaching experience and know-how.

JoeDoc? You up for it?

Posted by: BlackandRedRedDevil | August 4, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Utterly pointless move. I'm not saying Onalfo was the greatest coach ever, but this roster is garbage.

Posted by: jva1 | August 4, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

I think the better question would read: "Did Curt Onalfo deserve to be HIRED by DC United

Posted by: DCU_VW | August 4, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

DC United ruins yet another's career! Onalfo got screwed. He got handed the worst lineup in the league! But he did allow us all to see Najar and Hamid, which might not have happened under another coach. So kudos for that! Onalfo will surface again somewhere else I'm pretty sure...Thanks Kurt, we hardly knew ya!

Posted by: alan19 | August 4, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse





game on.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | August 4, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

I voted no, not because I ever thought Onalfo was the guy for the job, but because his responsibility for this train wreck is fairly minimal. Other people clearly *deserve to be fired* before Onalfo. Like, for instance, the people who hired him in the first place.

Posted by: benonthehill | August 4, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Hire Chest Rockwell

Posted by: Kev29 | August 4, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

he didnt deserve to be fired, but he also didn't deserve to be the HC in the first place. regardless of what the FO says publicly, he was no better than the 2nd choice for the job, and this move confirms that.

my only tactical beefs with CO were that he used Morsink too much at the beginning of the season (once Clyde was fit), and that he did not bench Graye fast enough during his recent stretch of bad form. The latter issue likely cost the team any real shot at the playoffs with the back to back home defeats by Seattle and LAG.

something I do wonder about though, is how does Mark Simpson continue to keep his job with each coaching change. After the horrid GK displays we've seen over the recent years, you'd think he'd have been let go by now...

Posted by: VTUnited | August 4, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

VTU is dead on. Norkus is looking like a genius for not showing up. Who will they get now? Does Kasper pull a Vermes and insert himself after an exhaustive search?

Posted by: mbyrd28 | August 4, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Got my Calebs messed up. It's Porter, Caleb Porter.

Posted by: mbyrd28 | August 4, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Dave Kasper is to United as Vinny Cerratto was to the Redskins. At least the Redskins have hired competent people.

Posted by: Gambrills4 | August 4, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

"Does Kasper pull a Vermes and insert himself after an exhaustive search?"

If there's even a remote chance he can get sacked, I'm all for it.

Posted by: Section117 | August 4, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

this should have been done a while ago . seriously everyone we have 12 points in 18 games and have scored 12 goals. and honestly most of these games we should have won. we have outplayed almost everyone we have played this year only to lose. do we have the best plyers in the league? no...... but we do have a solid team that has no heart

Posted by: choppenup | August 4, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

I voted "Yes" but not because I hate Curt or like seeing someone lose their job. In some ways I kind of admire Onalfo for professionalism in haiving to deal with such a crap team. I wish him the best and hope he lands on his feet. Seems like he's got a nice severance package, so good for him...on that front.

I think Curt did deserve to go because he lacks the fire that a top team manager needs to have in any competitive league. Trust me MLS is a very competitive league, now so more than ever. A few years back a coach could be laid back, have a bad season and still make the playoffs and with a hot streak you only need to win a few games to claim the Cup. Now the league is much more competitive and you just can't go around dropping points like the way we did and get anywhere or win anything. DC just did not have the fire. Yes they suck but there is talent there, enough talent to not be dead last in the league. So the only thing that appears to have been lacking was fire - motivation, drive and the refusal to lose even against the better teams. While Curt could not be blamed for the team he had, it was his job to light the spark - DC did not look like a team under fire, never looked like a team that had fight in them. So from that POV I can see how Curt can get the axe.

But accountability has to be far more reaching than the firing of a coach. Someone gave Curt the ingredients he had to cook with, that person should at least be called out and made accountable.

This is a mess, but sometimes you gotta do the tough things to clean up. Here's hoping we are on the path to the clean up.


Posted by: Kosh2 | August 4, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

United is looking to eat $900,000 in firing Onalfo. That's $900K before we even think about hiring another coach and possibly increasing Bennys pay in the interim. For those screaming for Chang to pull the trigger on KP, you need to remember that you'd be looking at probably eating some of his salary, hiring an interim and also hiring a permanent replacement. This is all money that I'm not sure the club has at the moment.

Posted by: CrippledKeeper | August 4, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Chang should cut his losses for the year and fire Payne and Kasper. It's not as if there's something to gain by keeping both around until end of the season. We are not going to make the playoffs so cut the losses now and regroup for next year.

Posted by: Charisma_Man | August 4, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

I answered yes, but there is no "fire everyone" option, so... Honestly at this point, the number of people worth keeping in this organization is slim to none.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | August 4, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

I thought his attitude was great under the circumstances. CO never has been the problem here. The fish rots from the head down. Curt is maybe at the gill.

Posted by: dsheon1 | August 4, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

I voted "no".

I don't think he should have ever been hired in the first place (nice guy, bad pro senior team coach. I am not sure that I would want Onalfo coaching my Puerto Rico Islanders. I just don't beleive in his abilities.

Now when do we get the "Should KP & DK be sent packing?" poll.

I really want to vote on that one.

Posted by: yankiboy | August 4, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

I voted "yes." Oh, he's not solely responsible for this mess. But anytime you have an MLS veteran squad and a coach who knows MLS and you've got 3 wins past the mid-way mark, either you've set the league all-time record for injuries or you're being poorly coach. I still don't think this team has the talent to be a playoff side. But we shouldn't be the bottom team in the league--especially given an expansion year.

Yes, he should be fired. No, he's not solely responsible for the results and the quality of the roster.

Posted by: JoeW1 | August 4, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Hey Steve where's the poll asking if we think that Dave Kasper should be fired?

Posted by: DadRyan | August 4, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

CO was dealt a bad hand from the beginning. It's a shame how far the mighty DCU as an organisation has fallen. Good luck Benny you will need it. The train wreck known as DCU continues.....

Posted by: uknowmeas-GQ | August 4, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

@DadRyan: 12:20PM. Rack Him!

Posted by: yankiboy | August 4, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

No offense intended, but he never should have been hired in the first place. You can't convince me there weren't better candidates out there other than the guy KC didn't want.

Posted by: fengraf | August 4, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

It's not Onalfo's fault that even he could outrun about half the midfielders on this team.

Posted by: GoUnited | August 4, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Yes. 12 shutouts in 18 matches

Posted by: DCUMD | August 4, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Please - don't stop with On-awful. Fire Kasper and Payne, declare Willie-boy Chang mentally incompetent, and put the team in receivership until someone who isn't anencephalic can actually run the thing.

Posted by: hofbrauhausde | August 4, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Onalfo should never have been hired in the first place. There was nothing in his record as a coach indicating an ability to build a winning team.

Posted by: lmorin | August 4, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

My opinion is right in line with the majority here. Yes, Onalfo should go. He failed in his player selection, tactics and motivation.

But the truth is he should have never been hired to begin with. The way I see it Onalfo's selection as manager was out of complete desperation when the Porter courtship collapsed. In short, the FO had no Plan B, so by default, with the draft imminent, Onalfo suddenly became Plan B. It was a shotgun wedding if there ever was one.

I feel happy and sad for Ben Olsen, just like I did when the Orioles made Juan Samuel interim manager. Both were hard-nosed intense players in their respective sports, who always took pride in the shirt they wore. Ben will fight for his guys and also demand more of them, and that's a good thing. But he won't be more than interim here, at least not now, and he won't magically make this team good. He still has much to learn. But what he will do is re-instill that fighting mentality and competitiveness that has been sorely lacking.

The real rot is in the front office. Everyone knows it. Kasper is simply incompetent. And Payne I think, lacks the fire in the belly that he once had. This is going to sound cruel but I believe the stroke he suffered a few years ago took something from him. Maybe his doctor told him to back off a little? I just don't see the same intensity or attention to detail from him that we all grew accustomed to. That said, it may well be time for him to step aside or focus solely on the stadium pursuit. Of course that requires having a competent GM in next step, and it can't happen soon enough, is FIRE KASPER!

Posted by: cmjhawk86 | August 4, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

i wish Richard Desmond bought D.C. United

Posted by: gpoi | August 4, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

What gets me is not that Onalfo got canned, but that United has no attacking forward, no playmaker midfielder, no holding midfielder, no solid defensive core, no real goalkeeper, no enforcer (heart) and anyone expects the team to win. I am not saying that there aren't good players, there are..but they have not gelled as a team. Simms, Najar, James, Allsopp, Cristman, and Pontius have all shown flashes of greatness, but nothing has been sustained for many games. I used to like Quaranta, and he should be a team leader, but he is indecisive. Moreno's greatness is past him, but he still gets mad respect from opposing teams. The rest of the bunch is just dissappointing, including the biggest let down - Perkins. Let Hamid play - he can't do any worse!

What gets me mostly is that it is the leadership that needs to reassess who it hires and why. Putting Ben Olsen as coach leads me to now believe that the leadership has given up on the rest of the season. I hope I am wrong and Big Ben does a bang up job, but Ben's greatness is in showing by example. His heart was into every game 120%. I don't doubt his playing ability, but he has no experience coaching as far as I know.

If the leadership really wants to take a chance, why not choose a coach from the many fans who come to games or a U of M coach or UVA's soccer coach. It just doesn't make sense to put Ben under so much pressure. What happens if he doesn't succeed? Do you get rid of him too - that would be a real disaster.

I can only hope the leadership comes to their senses and goes after an experienced coach. Good luck DC United - I am still a fan, but not fanatical.

Posted by: ezplanr | August 4, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

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