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Former Hertha Berlin coach Lucien Favre among D.C. United's coaching candidates

By Steve Goff

Former Hertha Berlin manager Lucien Favre was in Washington this week to discuss D.C. United's head coaching vacancy, the Insider has learned.

Favre, 53, attended United postseason training sessions and met with club president Kevin Payne and General Manager Dave Kasper, sources said. Reached late Friday, Payne and Kasper said they wouldn't comment on specific candidates. Payne told the Insider earlier in the day that most of the seven candidates are from the United States.

For more.....

Favre made 24 appearances as a midfielder for the Swiss national team between 1981 and '89. He coached second- and third-division clubs in Switzerland before leading FC Zurich to two league championships and one Swiss Cup title. Favre then moved to Hertha Berlin, guiding the Bundesliga club to 10th- and fourth-place finishes. In his second year, Hertha was in the race until the next-to-last weekend. Also in 2008-09, the club reached the 40-team group stage of the UEFA Cup before being eliminated with an 0-2-2 record.

The following season, Favre was fired following a six-game losing streak in league play early in the campaign.

By Steve Goff  | November 12, 2010; 7:08 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United, Germany  | Tags:  D.C. United  
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Comments

I have ZERO confidence that KP will make the correct choice

Posted by: Pete803 | November 12, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Busy off-season Friday for the Insider. Much appreciated.

I would be shocked, shocked I tell you, if someone who headed a Bundesliga team chose the MLS as his next coaching job.

Now, will Favre sext any of the DC staff?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 12, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Most importantly, does he pronounce the V or the R first?

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | November 12, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

i thought that guy was retired

Posted by: stairs | November 12, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Favre's Hertha teams were pretty solid, especially considering that the club didn't have much of a pedigree before that if I'm not mistaken. They liked to go forward too. It's a big risk going outside of MLS, but people said Onalfo was "the safe choice" and look what that got us.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | November 12, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

How old is this guy? Will he be yo-yo-ing between retirement and comeback like the other oh-too-well known Favre?

Posted by: Modibo | November 12, 2010 8:55 PM | Report abuse

I'm more than a little uncomfortable with the fact that the only thing we know about this dude is that he last coached in the Bundesliga and has been unemployed a little over a year. Anyone know anything about him that isn't statistical?

Posted by: ericruenes | November 12, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

I think he served in the Swiss navy.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 12, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Is he responsible for bringing Bryan Arguez to Hertha Berlin? If so.. I wonder if he's going to try to bring him back.

Posted by: MuffStache | November 12, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Arguez had a rough time at Hertha, to say the least. I doubt Favre would be clamoring to bring him back, if he gets the job

Posted by: carmines757 | November 12, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

I don't think he's an illiterate hick, so I'm assuming he pronounces the v first.

Posted by: Wendell_Gee | November 12, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

I don't think he's an illiterate hick, so I'm assuming he pronounces the v first.

Posted by: Wendell_Gee | November 12, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Favre was fired following a six-game losing streak in league play...

""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""

Good googa-mooga, if we were to fire a coach for losing 6 matches we might end up with 4 or 5 coaches next season. We could end up Bret FaRVe as coach if he retires from pointyball !!!

Posted by: 9Nine9 | November 12, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

I hate to give credit to the NYRB where credit is due but....the success of Hans Backe probably has something to do with this. First, it makes hiring a Euro coach just a little more credible. Second, other coaches quasi-like Backe (ie: guys who have coached around Europe, in some of the smaller leagues, respectable coaches but they're never going to get a chance to coach Barcelona or in the Premiership) probably take MLS offers just a little more seriously.

I don't know if he's a good hire. If we did make him an offer, I don't know if he'd accept. But Backe's year has made a big impact on MLS' interest in Euro coaches and their interest in MLS.

Posted by: JoeW1 | November 12, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Interesting...

How many times has he retired? Does he take photos of himself and send it to interns?

Posted by: Reignking | November 12, 2010 11:22 PM | Report abuse

No idea if this guy can coach or not, but I like the idea of going outside MLS. Recycling the same old group with a few recently retired ex-players without enough time as assistants has gotten tiresome. The idea that they need to be familiar with MLS before coaching here is even more absurd.

Posted by: Dancy1 | November 12, 2010 11:44 PM | Report abuse

More surprising news: Zakuani has accepted a call-up for a friendly with the DRC (Congo). Didn't want to wait for USA citizenship. I don't get it. If he wanted to play for Congo -- that's one thing I could wrap my brain around. Not wanting to wait out a 3-year process to get USA citizenship, so he could start on a World Cup team? That I don't get. Congo's a big country, but they're not going to qualify for the World Cup any time soon.

Posted by: fischy | November 13, 2010 1:07 AM | Report abuse

I wouldn't be surprised to see Congo qualify for the World Cup as soon as 2014. African soccer has a lot of parity, and a favorable draw for qualifying could get make the difference.

Plus, there's the African Cup of Nations, which is also a big deal, and probably a lot more appealing than the Gold Cup.

Posted by: Wendell_Gee | November 13, 2010 1:22 AM | Report abuse

I would be shocked, shocked I tell you, if someone who headed a Bundesliga team chose the MLS as his next coaching job.

Now, will Favre sext any of the DC staff?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 12, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

--------------------------------------------------------------

I'd report this abuse, except that I'm relieved I didn't see this news earlier. Otherwise, I'd be one the clowns making the lame Favre jokes.

As for the man himself, I"m a little surprised he's interested, but if he came all this way, he must be interested.


The skinny -- He did yeoman's work with Zurich. Went to Hertha and was hailed a genius for the first year. They played ugly but own a lot, with Voronin and Pantelic up top. Voronin went back to Liverpool the next year and Pantelic moved on, criticizing the coach. Hertha was absolutely horrible to start the next season and Favre was run out of town on a rail. Doesn't sound like the greatest coach, but, he probably could win in MLS. More to the point, though, he doesn't seem to favor DC United's preferred style -- unless management is giving up on their version of the Joga bonito.

Posted by: fischy | November 13, 2010 1:25 AM | Report abuse

Far more than yeoman's work. He took FC Echallens to their first (and only) time playing in the Swiss second division, got Yverdon promoted and up to 5th (last season they were ninth in the second division), got Servette to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup, and won two championships with Zurich, which is probably the easiest of all those things to do, but still. Hertha being more than completely mediocre for a season was damn impressive, and it was the closest they'd come to anything since promotion. He's actually quite a good coach, and his teams in Switzerland were known for a more pretty playing style than Hertha were.

Don't listen to Marko Pantelic. He gets along with no one and is a ridiculous prima donna. Voronin would have stayed easily if Hertha had the money to keep him, which says a lot about what a job Favre did in his first year.

Posted by: louisquatorze | November 13, 2010 5:25 AM | Report abuse

If he has experience with second- and third-division clubs, that makes him over-qualified for DCU.

Posted by: hofbrauhausde | November 13, 2010 6:21 AM | Report abuse

who cares --- as long as payne and kasper are still calling the shots the franchise will continue to corrode

Posted by: bestmick1 | November 13, 2010 7:20 AM | Report abuse

I bet it was the 6 game losing streak that caught Kevin's eye. Anyone who comes to United better know how to take a long series of butt-whippings and not quit.

Posted by: NICKYNUNYA | November 13, 2010 8:39 AM | Report abuse

I bet it was the 6 game losing streak that caught Kevin's eye. Anyone who comes to United better know how to take a long series of butt-whippings and not quit.

Posted by: NICKYNUNYA | November 13, 2010 8:39 AM | Report abuse

"Management sucks" "Payne needs to go" "As long as Kaspar and Payne are still calling the shots the franchise will continue to corrode"

This is going to be a long offseason.......

Posted by: Unitedfury | November 13, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Back on topic...

Favre would make for an interesting choice. I wonder how good his English his, considering Backe was nearly fluent, at least in his interviews. If he's at least somewhat competent in that catergory, than Boskovic might be able to help with the rest as well as Varela.

Posted by: Unitedfury | November 13, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Being a Hertha BSC fan, I would say Favre has a good tactical mind but is by no means a players coach. Once he loses a team, it is very ugly as last season was an epic disaster for Hertha, who now reside in the 2. Bundesliga thanks to Favre.

But he probably would be better than anyone else who could be considered a serious candidate for the DCU job. Regardless, if the front office doesnt upgrade the talent on the team it wont really matter who is standing on the sideline.

I hope he comes so I can thank him again for ruining my Hertha BSC. If he leaves DCU in worse condition than he found it (not sure if that is possible), then I would personally want to kill him.

Posted by: rademaar | November 13, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Favre's English is probably functional if not fluent. He's Swiss, so he speaks about 8 languages.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 13, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

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