MLS Coaching Hot Seat Update

MLS Coaching Hot Seat Update

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On March 12, 2008
  • 6 Comments

I love this time of year due to the predictions, previews, and other random things going into a new season. Yesterday I began work on some of my watch lists with an update to the Coaching Hot Seat. Today I will go a little more into that list and give a little overview on each coach and how hot their seats are at the moment.

This will be something that of course will be on going this year. I did it last year and found it was always a topic of good discussion. Everyone loves to throw their coach under the bus when the club is failing, its a natural part of sports.

As you can see I keep the list a little short. I try to keep it that way to avoid any confusing and to keep the guess work at a minimum. The order goes like you see it there on the side:

1. Fernando Clavijo – Colorado Rapids
2. Sigi Schmid – Columbus Crew
3. Juan Carlos Osorio – New York Red Bulls

If you are new to this site, I will catch you all up to speed on what I said time and time again last season about the man at the top of the list. Pretty much in simple terms, he needed to be fired before the last All-Star break. That didn’t happen so he remains at the top until he gets the can or his club actually does well. Neither happened last year so he goes into the 2008 season as the reigning champ so to speak of this list. Sure the Rapids traded for former MVP Christian Gomez but will that be enough to save his butt?

Schmid isn’t a newcomer as well. He spent a couple months on this list last year before his club pull together a fair stretch of games in the summer that put them into the playoff picture. The reason why he is back going into this season is simple, he doesn’t done enough this offseason to get anyone in Columbus excited enough about this club’s chances going into a new season. No big name signings like some had hoped and still no definitive scorer on the roster.

Now a lot of you will question the man at number three and I understand. I see Osorio under fire right now mainly due to the amount of pressure that coaching in New York comes with. Think about it, since the club was found in 1996, they haven’t had a coach go a full season and not be under fire. Its simple to think that Osorio has to be on this list here. Loads of pressure, lack of quality defense, shaky midfield all lead me to put him on here until I see otherwise to not to.

After those three I really have no order.

John Carver and Rudd Gullit are both new to the league; Dennis Hamlett is new to being a head coach; and Frank Yallop is coaching an expansion club. All of them really have no reason to be near the top of the list. But if any of them are it would be Carver or Gullit based on the clubs that they are coaching. LA expects results this year and Toronto has the fan base to get rowdy enough to cause a change if needed.

Curt Onalfo may have gotten his job extended another year or two with the recent DP signing of Claudio Lopez. That’s if Lopez pans out into the player he once was…there is a lot of debate over whether or not he will be the Lopez of old.

Jason Kreis could actually be near the top of the list in a number four spot when I think about it. RSL is the classic underachiever in this league and many will expect them to be a dark-horse this season. Why not right? I still believe his club will surprise many this season. A big reason why he was on the outside of that top three in my mind.

Another guy that could be near the top is Dallas’s Steve Morrow. I don’t think he will be under fire during the season, unless the club just implodes somehow. But watch out later on in the season if Dallas goes into their typical summer collapse. People could get restless about that in the Big D if that happens. And if it does his name could appear on the list.

Then there is a bottom four and no real surprise here. Tom Soehn, Preki, Steve Nicol, and Dominic Kinnear have all lead their clubs over the last couple years (or last year in Preki and Soehn’s case) to success. I couldn’t see them at all on this list but you just never know sometimes.

Think I am crazy with my top three here going into the season or right on the money? I know Rapids’ fans will probably agree with it but maybe the Rapids will be better this year because of Clavijo. Who are you coaches sitting on the hot seat?

  • tex

    Steve Morrow needs to be on this list and near the top since this is his second year and FCD continued to decline from the previous two seasons. Most people think that he has the team in position for an 8th or 9th place finish overall. He was the mastermind that let Ruiz, Gbandi and Goodson leave and added a old Mexican defender and one expendable CAP player. When it gets hot in Dallas this summer it should be VERY HOT for Morrow.

  • drew.epperley

    I had a feeling you'd say that tex, but all is true in what you said too. As optimistic as I want to be about this club they are middle of the table at best right now.

  • tex

    Steve Morrow needs to be on this list and near the top since this is his second year and FCD continued to decline from the previous two seasons. Most people think that he has the team in position for an 8th or 9th place finish overall. He was the mastermind that let Ruiz, Gbandi and Goodson leave and added a old Mexican defender and one expendable CAP player. When it gets hot in Dallas this summer it should be VERY HOT for Morrow.

  • I had a feeling you’d say that tex, but all is true in what you said too. As optimistic as I want to be about this club they are middle of the table at best right now.

  • Allen

    The thing with Morrow, to me at least, is that he has to do something to shake that team up. I think FC Dallas expects to win it all. And up until now the team has managed to fall off in performance as the season wound down for what? 3 years in a row? 4? Obviously there are some risks involved but I don't see how keeping the same squad around in tact would be a wise move.

  • The thing with Morrow, to me at least, is that he has to do something to shake that team up. I think FC Dallas expects to win it all. And up until now the team has managed to fall off in performance as the season wound down for what? 3 years in a row? 4? Obviously there are some risks involved but I don’t see how keeping the same squad around in tact would be a wise move.