- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On February 26, 2008
- 2 Comments
Last of the power ranking installments before the main club version in a week or so here. Today we get the coaches.
Just as the days before, keep up the discussion. I’ve been critical and so have you, which is what makes this all fun here before the season starts.
1. Houston: You win the MLS Cup two years and a row then you must be doing something right. Dominic Kinnear knows the MLS better than anyone else right now and continues to show us that. Okay so the loss the other day in the Pan-Pacific Championship wasn’t too good, okay it was terrible but I am sure once the season kicks in to gear that this club will again be up in the thick of things in the west and in the league.
2. New England: You go to three straight MLS Cups and you must know something as well. Though he hasn’t won a MLS Cup yet getting to one is never an easy road. Steve Nicol is a masterful coach and a genius in finding talent in weird places. Most have been harsh on him for not finding a star player this off-season to go along side Taylor Twellman but I am sure Nicol has something up his sleeve.
3. Chivas USA: I never really expected Preki to be as good as he was last year but I have to give it to him, his club was damn good last year and he did an excellent job during last season. I am eager to see his sophomore campaign as coach though.
4. DC United: Things started out tough for Tom Soehn last year but somehow he worked it all out and got his club to win the Supporter’s Shield. Not bad really, not bad. I am more curious to see how things go in year two as well now that he has all of this new talent in the defense and midfield.
5. New York Red Bulls: Its a good thing that New York got Juan Carlos Osorio away from Chicago because he will make this a better team. I’m not saying Bruce Arena was a terrible coach, I am just saying that he couldn’t coach this bunch of players. I think Osorio can due to what he did in Chicago with that bunch of players (plus Blanco) then New York should have another playoff-type of season.
6. FC Dallas: Steve Morrow has a mindset of what he wants and what kind of players he wants. Right now he is doing just that with his roster. Denilson was not his fault and not his style of player and so Dallas will move on from that mistake. I think Morrow has built a solid foundation in Dallas with the players he has right now. If he can sure up the defense then this club will be in the thick of things in the west again. If not, he will be on that coaching hot seats list on the right.
7. San Jose: Some will disagree with this based on last year but Frank Yallop does know how to coach in this league. Remember that the Galaxy did get competitive down the stretch last year and that they did have a slew of injuries to deal with, headaches with Alexi Lalas and a horrible schedule. I know Yallop has built a very defensive squad but he should be able to coach this club into a respectable expansion campaign this year.
8. Kansas City: Curt Onalfo is a good coach, not a great coach but a good coach. I know his coaching got them to the western conference finals last year but most of that was due to the teams they played down the stretch to get in the playoffs (teams that were already giving up on the season and those who were too injured to try). Onalfo has his work cut out for him this year I think. If the Claudio Lopez deal goes down it will only help but I don’t see his defense getting any better right now.
9. Real Salt Lake: I struggled as usual on to where to put this ranking. I like Jason Kreis but I don’t know if I am still crazy about him as a coach yet. I do like what I am seeing him do in Salt Lake City with this club. Lots of younger players with some veterans mixed in and then some massive imports from Argentina should make this club competitive this season. Will the be a playoff team is the question. I think they will surprise people.
10. Columbus: Got to remember Sigi Schmid has won a lot in the MLS before. Thing is he hasn’t built the winner that most hoped he would in Columbus yet. He needs some help in the back with an aging defense and he needs some help up top with an offense that doesn’t seem to score often.
11. Chicago: From here down is kind of subjective (aside from one other coach) but I don’t know exactly how good of a coach Dennis Hamlet will be with the Fire. He is keeping a tight lid on player signings right now and for good reason I am sure. I wanted to rate him higher but just couldn’t, yet. Time will tell what kind of coach he is but I hope he is a good one that I think he will be. He at least knows the MLS unlike the last two.
12. Colorado: Yes, Fernando Clavijo should have lost his job months ago but somehow has stayed on with the Rapids. He isn’t the worst on this list because the two below have no experience with the MLS. But out of the ones that do he has to be ranked the lowest. And many of you know why.
13. LA: The last two are more incompletes than actual rankings but I have to at least put a number beside LA and Toronto here. I don’t know how Ruud Gullit will be as Galaxy manager. After watching the Pan-Pacific Championships I know he can coach a bunch of players to a bad loss and an half-hearted win. How he adapts his coaching style to the MLS will be the true test. I still have money in a pool somewhere that says he won’t last two seasons as Galaxy manager.
13. Toronto: Again, don’t get mad at me Toronto fans for this low ranking. If Mo Johnston was still the head manager this ranking wouldn’t even be nearly this low. But since I know little about John Carver its a must since he has little experience with the MLS. It’s only fair, its only fair.