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D.C. United's coaching search and options

With the MLS season melting away and D.C. United headed for historic lows, the club will soon turn its full attention to the head coaching position. Ben Olsen took one for the team, so to speak, by agreeing to becoming the interim boss during his first year as an assistant after Curt Onalfo's abrupt dismissal in August.

While United President Kevin Payne has stated that Olsen is likely to lead United someday, he has also suggested that Olsen lacks the experience to guide the club through these turbulent times. To Olsen's credit, the players have responded to his impassioned pleas to play for the badge and salvage something from this miserable year; unfortunately, their energy and commitment have failed to compensate for voids at several positions and terrible mistakes.

The buzz in soccer circles is that Olsen, despite initial uncertainty, would very much like a crack at the permanent job. The buzz in soccer circles is also that United plans to initially focus on experienced foreign candidates.

Though it will go about the search in its own independent way, United might draw insight from the varying backgrounds of coaches leading the five best MLS clubs this year:

THE FOREIGNER (New York's Hans Backe): Few, if anyone, in the States knew of this Swedish coach before his arrival last winter. It was a bold hire defying conventional thinking that outsiders untrained in the American system are bound to fail. While marquee player acquisitions have served a big part in the Red Bulls' turnaround, Backe has shown the temperament, perspective and tactical keenness to mold a championship contender. The support of Richie Williams, a former MLS player and holdover assistant, undoubtedly eased the transition and filled in the gaps.

United's options: There are numerous experienced coaches in Europe and Latin America, with a wide range of fame and success, who surely would love the opportunity to coach in the States. As the Red Bulls have proven, a big name is not essential. Salary would be an issue -- United doesn't have Real Madrid's budget, or even Real Sociedad's budget. One name that has floated around: former Newcastle and England manager Kevin Keegan. A realistic target, though?

THE ASSISTANT (Columbus' Robert Warzycha): After seven years as a player for the Crew, the Poland native served as a club assistant for six seasons. When Sigi Schmid bolted for Seattle, Warzycha inherited the top job and proceeded to guide Columbus to a second straight Supporters' Shield in 2009. This year, the Crew is atop the Eastern Conference heading into the final month of the regular season.

United's options: Besides Olsen, other notable assistants include New York's Williams, who interviewed for the D.C. job last year; Real Salt Lake's Robin Fraser, the former MLS defender in his fourth season with the reigning champions; Los Angeles' Dave Sarachan, the former DCU and national team assistant who guided Chicago to an MLS Cup appearance and is now happily helping Bruce Arena and living in SoCal paradise; and Philadelphia's John Hackworth, who worked in the U.S. national team system.

THE ESTABLISHMENT (Los Angeles' Bruce Arena): After his rebuilding efforts in New York were cut short, Arena has managed the tricky David Beckham-Landon Donovan dynamic and introduced several newcomers en route to a 2009 MLS Cup appearance and the pole position in the 2010 Supporters' Shield race.

United's options: There's only one Bruce Arena, and he's not coming back to clean up the mess at RFK. Had the USSF not retained Bob Bradley, he might have become a candidate. The U.S. under-20 coach, Thomas Rongen, already guided United, from 1999 through 2001.

THE PLAYER (Real Salt Lake's Jason Kreis): In June 2007, Kreis went from player to coach in the blink of an eye, retiring as the league's career scoring leader to succeed John Ellinger. Working with another former player turned decision-maker, General Manager Garth Lagerwey, Kreis has settled into the position nicely: the league trophy last year and contending status this fall.

United's options: An exiting player is not going to be hired for this head position. (Sorry, Jaime Moreno and Brian McBride.) D.C. legend Marco Etcheverry's name comes up time to time, but beyond sentimentality, he has never been viewed as a viable candidate. If United is interested in a former high-profile player with vast life experiences, leadership qualities, a coaching gig in his past, respect in American circles and European connections, what about Hall of Famer Thomas Dooley? The German-American had 81 caps for the U.S. team, started in two World Cups, captained the 1998 squad, played four years in MLS and coached Saarbrucken in Germany for one season before settling in Southern California. He has worked in youth coaching, earned his FIFA coaching license in Germany and been involved with a statistical analysis company. His lack of recent club coaching experience would probably hurt his cause.

THE COLLEGE MAN (Dallas' Schellas Hyndman): At a late stage in his career, Hyndman left Southern Methodist University after 24 seasons to dip into the professional ranks. Some questioned whether he could make the transition, but after not making the playoffs last year, he has guided FCD to a 11-2-13 record and emerged as the leading candidate for coach of the year honors.

United's options: Akron's Caleb Porter turned down DCU last year and Maryland's Sasho Cirovski, a hands-on and demanding coach, would want more control than any club would allow. Wake Forest's Jay Vidovich is also highly regarded. With United in need of an immediate turnaround after two mediocre seasons and an awful one, the club doesn't have the luxury to allow a newcomer to grow into the job.

In conclusion.....

I do believe United is intending to hire an experienced foreign coach, probably from Europe.

Who would you like to see in that position? Olsen? Fraser? A European or South American? Juergen Klinsmann? (Kidding)

By Steve Goff  | September 27, 2010; 6:50 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United, MLS  | Tags:  D.C. United  
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Comments

Porter.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | September 27, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Hooray! Let the wild coaching speculation begin. We haven't done this in almost a year.

I do hope you're right -- that they're going to try and cast a wider net, this time around. If they want to bring in better talent, they probably need a coach with international street cred. Keegan would be great. David Moyes might be looking for a new job soon, too. (kidding). Seems Paul Gascoigne is getting back into coaching, and he is familiar with DC United, at least. (Really kidding!!!) Plus, Olsen would benefit from learning the ropes a little better, from someone who might be able to show him how its done.

On the other had, we'll probably end up being turned down by Vidovich and settling for Sarachan. If the team brings in better talent, they can live with that....

Posted by: fischy | September 27, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Colin Clarke?

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | September 27, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Colin Clarke or Jay Vidovich would be nice. A sick combo would be a Leonel Alvarez(for defense)and Carlos Valdderama(for offense)combo. They both know MLS, should know English after being here for around 6-7 years, and have had quite good success in their brief coaching tenures.(Alvarez coached Medellin to a cup and Valdderama was the assistant on a very good offensively Junior Barranquila team last season in Colombia.)Combine these too with the fire and passion of Benny and I think this team could compete next year.

Posted by: Unitedfury | September 27, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

John Ellis.

I loved his soccer camps when I was in elementary school.

Posted by: chemweapon | September 27, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Richie Williams

Posted by: StewartDC8 | September 27, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

BTW -- I think Dooley could be a great coach, but I have the sense that he's a SoCal guy now. If Chivas comes calling, he might jump. Like Olsen, though, he could probably do with time as a high-level assistant. There's a reason he left Saarbrucken after a year and came to the US. I don't what it is, but there's a reason.

Posted by: fischy | September 27, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

I don't think it'll matter whether it's Arena, or Klinsmann, or RuPaul coaching DCU until changes are made to the front office.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 27, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Still backing McBride. We need some tactical leadership for our attack, he has plenty of experience under one of Europe's best coaches, knows MLS and US soccer...and maybe he could bring Dempsey to DC in a few years :-)

Posted by: Southeasterner | September 27, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

It would have to be someone willing to move to Baltimore, so I doubt we'd get a European coach. (kidding?)

Posted by: dcjy | September 27, 2010 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Robin Fraser should be a strong candidate for the position, but I think DC will look for someone outside of MLS. Have that coach focus on the tactics and game management and have Olsen assist him with the MLS rules and guidelines and it would work in a similar fashion to the Backe/Williams duo.

In hindsight, it would have been nice to get John Spencer, but he had the Portland gig wrapped up at least two years ago. Chris Armas would be an interesting candidate, but I don't know where he stands as far as coaching experience. I definitely don't want Williams (classic example of a quality assistant, but so-so coach; see Sarachan and Soehn for further examples) or Olsen (love the guy and his passion, but he is simply far too green to stay in the position).

Posted by: jason1551 | September 27, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

So is hiring a new coach the first priority after hiring a new general manager? Hope so...

Posted by: frescova | September 27, 2010 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Great stuff. How about an historical analysis of the background of MLS cup winning coaches.
My off the top of my head recollection makes me think there are lot of former college coaches on that list...

Posted by: seantipton | September 27, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

MARCO MARCO MARCO MARCO!!!!!

Posted by: BolivianDCFan | September 27, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Steve Guppy is a foreigner, assistant, and former player (OK, it was just five games). So that's three out of Steve's five categories.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | September 27, 2010 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Why do we think Kevin Payne or anyone in the DC United organization is qualified to recognize which coach in a sea of foreign coaches would be right for the mess they've created when they haven't had much luck finding capable coaches in a market with which they're supposedly familiar?

Sadly, till Payne and Kasper are replaced, the coach really doesn't matter much.

Posted by: mercedeskk | September 27, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

start with getting rid of kevin payne. I don't think this is all kurts fault.

Posted by: pmk000 | September 27, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Ahhhh watching Tino dive in the 89 minute of the replay on comcast.... Here comes the James tackle on Oduro and the impending Olsen ejection.

Posted by: DadRyan | September 27, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Pelé.

Posted by: PEddy | September 27, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

keep Ben and make the player moves desperately needed in the off season. We don't have NYRB resources so doing what they did this year doesn't seem likely.

Posted by: nairbsod | September 27, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

No one they want is going to want them, period.

If they bring in a recently retired player, they risk losing Olsen.

They could do worse than sticking with Benny (this has been proven). I question whether, realistically, they could do better.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | September 27, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Why has United pushed away it's top two stars (Etcheverry & Moreno) and held on to Olsen and Simpson as coaches? What about Raul Diaz Arce getting a look-see with the organization?

Kevin Keegan would be out the door the first time Kevin Payne came back from South America with some DVD's and signed contracts for the likes of Franco Neill.

Thx,

Jay!

Posted by: jayrockers | September 27, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Thor Lee

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | September 27, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Too many of these dudes above are "so what" candidates to me. Few of them with much experience and some (Richie Williams for instance) with more experience but still not commanding much attention. I'd like Hans Backe or Keegan from the coaches named above, but am not sure they'd come.

Also, as much as I'd like to support a team winning big playing "with a certain style", they need to also think about developing 2 solid defenders to compliment James (and Jankovic if they keep him) and 2 serious finishers!

I'm afraid DCU's management team has shown little imagination in the hiring department...perhaps a coach who requires greater control over personnel decisions would be handy and kill 3 birds with one multi-pointed stone! Last year though, I feel they settled on Onalfo waaayyyy too quickly...as soon as Porter stiff-armed them.

At least there's time to do research right now and attempt to get the right guy!

Posted by: ericruenes | September 27, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Too many of these dudes above are "so what" candidates to me. Few of them with much experience and some (Richie Williams for instance) with more experience but still not commanding much attention. I'd like Hans Backe or Keegan from the coaches named above, but am not sure they'd come.

I'm afraid DCU's management team has shown little imagination in the hiring department...perhaps a coach who requires greater control over personnel decisions would be handy and kill 3 birds with one multi-pointed stone! Last year though, I feel they settled on Onalfo waaayyyy too quickly...as soon as Porter stiff-armed them.

Also, as much as I'd like to support a team winning big playing "with a certain style", they need to also think about finding 2 solid defenders to compliment James (and Jankovic if they keep him)...and at least 1 solid forward.

At least there's time to do research right now and attempt to get the right guy!

Posted by: ericruenes | September 27, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Olsen..
BTW looks like Comcastsportsnet is keeping up wit' the times and broadcasting a live CL match tomorrow. That wasn't on the sched as of last week, that's for sure.. stoked! Not sure which match they'll pick up but it'll be nice to have an opportunity to check out a live match tomorrow afternoon.

And Uh/... get your Fantasy league team straight and or join the league at UEFA.com...

Posted by: DadRyan | September 27, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

1. A foreign coach works in MLS only IF you have the right support system. Hans Becke had guys around him who knew MLS. So he could bring his tactical wisdom and man management skills to the team and mesh them with guys who knew the refs, knew the fields, knew the opposing talent, knew the travel and road idiosyncracies, knew the weather and schedule issues. That's key.

2. I love Olsen. But I don't see how he's ready to be the head coach. Passion and a track record as a player isn't enough.

3. Kevin Keegan has a Q ratio in soccer but it would likely be like the MetroStars hiring Parrera. Keegan had a rep as being tactically weak as a coach. Why spend all that money and go foreign to hire someone who doesn't advance the team and the league tactically? I'm not ruling out foreign coaches, only saying that a journeyman like Becke might actually be a wise choice rather than a "name" coach. B/c the best "name" coaches who are good tactically (Van Gaal, Mourinho, Lippi) will have other jobs and require millions of dollars per year to sign.

4. Please don't mention Moreno or Etcheverry or any other former DC United Player. If Olsen (who knows the league well and assisted this year than got a runout as interim coach) isn't good enough, than guys who no head man experience or even no coaching experience (Moreno) aren't as good at this point. Passion and formerly being a great player don't cut it as a coach--ask Maradona. RDA at least has coaching experience (though I question his knowledge of MLS--just like Dooley too).

5. It's easy to fall for Colin Clarke. He's done well with the PR Islanders. But he did terribly with FCD--ran a very loose ship and allowed Ruiz to get away with murder. I think Clarke is a guy who has to have the right situation to be successful. In the wrong situation he'll fail (and he's demonstrated that).

6. I think we're all agreed that regardless of who the coach is, the overall talent on the team needs to be significantly upgraded. I really like a lot of the players on this team. But you can't have a 5 win season and then say "we're just a good goal scorer and a defensive organizer away from being a good team." This team is a lot of players away from being a good team.

Posted by: JoeW1 | September 27, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Joe Gibbs?

Posted by: 9Nine9 | September 27, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

i heard Chad Ashton getting on the boys from way up in the stands. Thats my Choice.

Posted by: godpere | September 27, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

i heard Chad Ashton getting on the boys from way up in the stands. Thats my Choice.

Posted by: godpere | September 27, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

I have to say, pretty bleak. If we have to throw money at anyone, I'd throw it at Porter once his team wins this year.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | September 27, 2010 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Porter isn't coming. Why leave a job were you have full security in your job and come to DC where they will fire you 6 weeks in when you were left with a terrible roster?

Posted by: grubbsbl | September 27, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse

See, what people have to see is that DC doesn't belong to the fans. It belongs to Kevin Payne's ego? DC should change it's name to Kevin United! It's obvious that Kevin Payne is playing god with DC! He knows this DC team of the 21st century sucks and he's the ones that pulls the strings. Usually the coaches have the last say but apparently not in DC. Why do you think the staff in DC are former players of the team! This DC isn't a pro team. It's a semi-pro team with mediocre players with a weak staff, with very weak resources, meaning money, eying on talent, personal, and everything that makes a good team! No good coach from anywhere would wanna coach in DC! No good player would wanna play in DC! The only way DC will succeed if the person on the top put some serious money down and dump all the access weight( Payne, and co.)! I've been a DC fan since 96!!! and i wanna stay a fan til i die not when they move because some egotistical mother effer wants it he's way!!!

Posted by: rigs88 | September 27, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Porter's got a 5-yr. deal. Talk to him if we need a another coach for 2015...assuming the team is still in the "area".

Posted by: fischy | September 27, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

while I also loved John Ellis' soccer camps as a kid, he begged off the USWNT because of the travel schedule. He's no spring chicken. How about his son Paul or heck his daughter Jillian who is at UCLA and an assistant on the USWNT.

Keegan would be an absolute disaster. We would be a fun attacking team to watch but our lack of defense and tactical sense would produce lots of gut wrenching losses.

Posted by: owendylan | September 27, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Richie Williams. Give the guy a shot.

Posted by: Juan-John1 | September 28, 2010 1:24 AM | Report abuse

JoeW -- you say that Colin Clarke "did terribly with FCD." My memory is that he managed them for two full years: in 2005 they came in 2nd in the West; and in 2006 they came in 1st in the West, with us just pipping them in the last week for the Supporters Shield. That's "did terribly"??!?!

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | September 28, 2010 1:40 AM | Report abuse

Oh, sorry, I meant Porter for the Atlanta team that will be showing up here about the time Porter's contract runs out.

Apologies for the confusion.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | September 28, 2010 4:13 AM | Report abuse

Y'all could do a lot worse than Ben Olsen. And it's not really worth bringing in a top flight manager until you have something for him to work with.

Posted by: j_doe | September 28, 2010 5:58 AM | Report abuse

You can bring in the best, most qualified coach in the history of the universe and nothing will change until the people making the personnel decisions change. DCU's problems flow from the Kasper management disaster and Will has to change the person in GM position before any selection of a new coach can happen with any credibility.

Posted by: lgm6986 | September 28, 2010 6:08 AM | Report abuse

Leigh Cowlishaw's gotta be tired of beating up the USL.

Posted by: marylandspca | September 28, 2010 6:57 AM | Report abuse

The MacArthur Foundation announced its 23 Fellows. Again, not one is a soccer player or coach. I guess when it comes to "It Takes More," brains aren't one of the values.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | September 28, 2010 7:25 AM | Report abuse

Jim Gabarra is now available.

Posted by: stwasm | September 28, 2010 7:46 AM | Report abuse

Wouldn't Steve Sampson count under: The Establishment

Posted by: MrCerniglia | September 28, 2010 7:50 AM | Report abuse

jayrockers:

DCU has held on to Olsen and Simpson because Benny is very possibly the most popular player in team history and his hiring would be most welcome by the fan base. Simpson is still around because he is a KP favorite. His wife and KP's are close friends and Simmo is KP's golfing buddy.

Colin Clark would be a great hire. He did well in Frisco and he ahas done well in Puerto Rico. Sarachan's not coming: once you've been through the KP freak show buffet, you don't return for seconds. Richie is a good possibility, but as I've mentioned before, why would any ooach or player abandon a beautiful stadium/practice facility setup for the Noah's Ark of RFK? Also, Richie played for DCU when Kasper came on board, so he's unlikely to go for his used-car salesman approach.

Posted by: lgm6986 | September 28, 2010 7:56 AM | Report abuse

unbelievable deja vu all over again..so this offseason will literally be a repeat of last offseason with coach speculation and hope that "things turn around this year"?

Just find last year's threads, copy, paste...done.

Posted by: DCB23 | September 28, 2010 7:58 AM | Report abuse

Give Cirovski the reins - and all the authority he wants. THAT is the best answer for United, however Payne does not have the ability to let go. If he focused 100 percent on the stadium and let Cirovski do whatever he needs, we'd be much better off.

Posted by: dsheon1 | September 28, 2010 8:15 AM | Report abuse

My top 5 list:
1. Cirovski
2. Fraser
3. Williams
4. Vidovich
5. John Harkes

Posted by: no_recess | September 28, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

IIRC, last season DCU interviewed a whopping three candidates: one MLS assistant, one college coach, and one MLS reject. The first two turned them down.

Is DCU somehow better positioned now to attract a European or "name" coach? Seriously, that visit would last an hour, the last 59 minutes of which would consist of waiting for the taxi.

Er, Harkes? You mean, JOHN Harkes? Maybe DCU would get a federal tax credit for hiring the disabled.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | September 28, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Anson Dorrance. He's won a World Cup and about 50 NCAA titles. It would be an improvement if DC were to play like girls.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | September 28, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

I would love it if we [signed Keegan]! Love it! Imagine reading quotes like this in Soccer Insider:

http://www.england2010.co.uk/kevin-keegan-quotes.htm

Posted by: BlackandRedRedDevil | September 28, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

I'm sure United has a long list of people they want, but who is going to want to come here? Poor roster, worse facilities and a front office that's another rung lower. We're only going to get someone who is not qualified to be a head coach, or someone looking to rebuild their reputation. If Liverpool are still in the bottom half of the table come boxing day, Roy Hodgeson is going to need to get out of Merseyside, and maybe the country!

Yeah, it's a pipe dream.

Posted by: FulhamDC | September 28, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

i agree with pmk00: get rid of kevin payne THEN go looking for a coach. i can't think of a decent player acquisition since christian gomez and, because of that, it was probably just lucky. (i don't count najar -who's awesome - because he came up through the academy). it's hard to watch new york go out and get juan pablo angel, rafael marquez and now thierry henry only to watch us field a team that wouldn't even be on the reserve squad of most mls teams. also, the threat of moving the team is a grotesque slap in the face. put a quality product on the field and then MAYBE you get to dictate to the fans.

Posted by: papple | September 28, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Posted by: Kev29 | September 28, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

I don't want to wake up Kev, but: Anybody disagree that Olsen has at least the same potential as Jason Kreis?

Posted by: dccal | September 28, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

The word is out in the league that this place is poisin, so any thoughts of getting a "name" coach are laughable, unless, as has been suggested by others, the front office is cleaned out. What really irks me about Payne and Kasper is the number of innocent people they have sacrificed in the process, starting with Benny, who was so not ready to coach, Onalfo, who is in fact a good coach, all the assistant coaches who have been painted by this brush; hell even Soehn, who was, like all the others, made the fall guy for the FO's incredible and malicious ineptitude.
Will Chang need to "grow some" otherwise please do us a favor and sell the team to some people who care and know what they are doing.

Posted by: Ruthie1 | September 28, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

@Godfather_of_Goals

No I mean the other well known Harkes of the US soccer community. Of course I mean John Harkes. He was a strong leader and has international experience.

Posted by: no_recess | September 28, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

I'm with those who say the FO must be cleaned and disinfected first. I wrote this a few weeks ago but it still applies.

http://cmjhawk86.wordpress.com/2010/09/03/news-flash-dc-united-is-still-really-bad/

Posted by: cmjhawk86 | September 28, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Is Stevey Rammel coaching anywhere?

Posted by: harryfuchs | September 28, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

God save us from John Harkes! On the other hand it might be fun to watch the battle of the egos as he & Payne go at it. John Ellis would be better. And Anson Dorrance's 'girls' could beat DCU any day they way they are playing. The should hope to start playing as well as the girls.

Posted by: hscott | September 28, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

First - how about replacing Kasper with a Technical Director like Earnie Stewart who is now doing the job for AZ Almaar? He might know some good managers and could help identify good European talent.

Second -- why not look at guys like Steve Coppel or Chris Coleman who are good Championship level managers, have an appreciation for American talent, and can work with a budget?

Posted by: LostinPotomac | September 28, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

First - how about replacing Kasper with a Technical Director like Earnie Stewart who is now doing the job for AZ Almaar? He might know some good managers and could help identify good European talent.

Second -- why not look at guys like Steve Coppel or Chris Coleman who are good Championship level managers, have an appreciation for American talent, and can work with a budget?

Posted by: LostinPotomac | September 28, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

There are alot out there. Ernie Stewart, Richie Williams, Chad Ashton. Does anyone go to the 5PM get-togethers w/Kevin Payne and listen to him talk? I'd like an opinion. The one I don't want is Preki. I would like Dominik Kinner too. Bob Bradley would have fixed us up. What we need to do is get rid of Perkins and get a goalie who doesn't slash the air like Freddie Kruger.

Posted by: VirginiaFan | September 28, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

If you meant actually bringing in Earnie Stewart, I'd guess the odds are longer than the snowball's chance in Hades. Why would you leave a top club in your home country, with European competition on the brain, for this backwater? If you meant someone like Stewart, I don't know who that would be. Someone in some minor European league, I guess? Another Erik Soler? If you meant just having a TD, DCU already has one: Chad Ashton.

Posted by: fischy | September 28, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

I would guess that with the success (failures) of the past 3 seasons, the FO is ready to hire a top notch coach(whoever that is)and quit meddling in that coach's decisions. Its obvious that some high profile(and highly paid) players that the FO have brought in have been financial disasters. Time to get a top notch coach and let him call the shots. Keep Benny as an assistant.!!

Posted by: patrick18 | September 28, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

@chemweapon - Great comment on John Ellis

I just remember him yelling "SOCCER!" and everyone saying "GREAT GAME, GREAT GAME"

Let's give Richie Williams, he's got a good eye for talent. And seems to be able to work the MLS draft to his team's advantage.

Posted by: ihillvt | September 28, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Doesn't matter who coaches...as long as Payne is involved there will be no improvement.

Posted by: LCR-54 | September 28, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Come on "no recess," no way Sasho's taking this pathetic club with its pathetic ownership and pathetic management. God help DCU if Payne's making the call!

Posted by: lovinliberty | September 28, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

God save us from John Harkes! On the other hand it might be fun to watch the battle of the egos as he & Payne go at it.

Posted by: hscott | September 28, 2010 11:34 AM
=====================

Ha! Talk about Kevin Keegan; John Harkes v. KP and DK would be Keegan v. Ashley and Wise all over again, except with nothing as even-handed as the EPL Arbitration Panel to appeal to. Harkes would have the shortest tenure of any MLS manager.

Posted by: janspoor | September 28, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Richie Williams. United is not going to attract a name or top notch coach given it's current state of affairs. Further, Williams would be a good fit with Olsen as an assistant. Another name I would throw out there not as a head coach but as an assistant or FO assistant hire is Raul Diaz Arce.

Posted by: Gambrills4 | September 28, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Doesn't matter who coaches...as long as Payne is involved there will be no improvement.

Posted by: LCR-54 | September 28, 2010 1:31 PM


*sigh* I wish I could predict the future like some of you guys.(I'm not fighting the argument that Payne and Kaspar need to go. Just saying that nobody can prove that DCU will be horrible next year with Payne as GM still. Its passing off speculation and anger as fact.)

Posted by: Unitedfury | September 28, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

I like the idea of Chris Coleman! He's available, knows how to build a club, understands American players, likes a challenge. But Chang would have to get Payne & Kasper out of his way...unconditionally.

Posted by: soccerman | September 28, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

*sigh* I wish I could predict the future like some of you guys.(I'm not fighting the argument that Payne and Kaspar need to go. Just saying that nobody can prove that DCU will be horrible next year with Payne as GM still.)

Posted by: Unitedfury | September 28, 2010 3:00 PM

=====================

Can anyone *prove* what will happen in the future? Of course not. But we have experience to guide us, and that experience suggests, to some of us at least, that while players have come and gone, and coaches have come and gone, the management has stayed the same. And that management hasn't been doing a very good job.

United is in the third year of a downhill slide that has more or less coincided with Dave Kasper's tenure as GM. He's brought in a couple of good players, but for the most part, his choices have ranged from mediocre to disastrously bad. And there seem to be no repercussions for that.

Experience also suggests that our other deep trough came during the coaching tenure of Thomas Rongen. Both Kasper and Rongen, after a good initial year each, have lasted long past their sell-by date, retained by the chairman, president, what ever you want to call him, who hired them and who has a reputation for loyalty to the people he hires that blinds him to their faults (or a stubborn unwillingness to admit mistakes, take it whichever way you like).

Now, to his credit, Payne also picked Bruce Arena and Piotr Nowak, who between them gave us plenty of good years. But Piotr's been gone for four years, and Bruce for twelve, and we've yet to see hires that are anything like their caliber.

As CEO, Payne has had trouble keeping owners engaged and supportive. He's been unable to find the league's premier franchise a proper home, so we play year after year in a crumbling hulk. Heck, for quite a few years, we couldn't even manage to find a company willing to pony up the rights to advertise on our jerseys! Meanwhile he's exploded several times on live TV or press interviews in ways that have done nothing for the reputation of the team or his own character as a serious and professional business leader. He's kind of a loose cannon. Like some of our star players of the early days, he's done a lot for the team (and the league), but it's been a long time since he did most of it. I wouldn't want Etch, or Harksie, or Goose playing for United today, and I think that KP has likewise come to the point where he isn't contributing what we need.

Can any of us say for sure that we'll be better the instant KP and DK are gone? No, we can't; I'd almost bet we *won't* be better right away. It's going to take time to get this franchise back on track; it will probably take a good deal of money, and it may even take a change of location (though I hope not). But no matter how slowly the ship answers the wheel, until you turn it, it won't change direction. And I think that finding a new GM is essential, and a new CEO maybe necessary, to that making that turn.

Posted by: janspoor | September 28, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Introducing your new coach of DC United for 2011:

Chest Rockwell.

Posted by: SportzNut21 | September 28, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Woah janspoor, I was not defending them at all. I actually agree with most of what you said.

My main argument was that the evidence(not yours)that Payne and Kaspar need to go is often times people passing off opinion as fact which is completely unfair to those being accused. People start either say things like "if Payne is still GM, DCU has no chance of winning" and "if Kaspar is still here next year then the team will be just as bad." Thats character asassination and not viable evidence to support their claim(yours is viable evidence).

Sometimes, in the rage and desire to see them go, some posters on this blog put Kaspar and Payne into situations where there is no possible way for Kaspar and Payne to succeed.

I'm firmly in the camp that they need to be replaced, but its completely unfair to them to continuously bash every single attempt they make to try and improve the team for the sake of trying to show they need to go.

Quite frankly, after 6 months, it gets really tedious watching people digging for information to fire the two after every single move they make. I apologize that every single post of mine seems to be a rant anymore, but I hate watching people get trashed unfairly just because one person is angry with them.

*crawls under rock awaiting many angry comments about this post* ):

Posted by: Unitedfury | September 28, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

United bleaus. Does it really matter?

Posted by: OWNTF | September 28, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

How about Denis Hamlett? I believe he should be considered for the job. He has ties to the area and I believe he has proven his worth.

Posted by: wrightcor | September 29, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

PLEASE Sasho come to DC United!!!

Posted by: zizou1972 | September 30, 2010 1:00 AM | Report abuse

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