- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On April 29, 2008
- 0 Comments
After the first couple weeks of the new MLS season I thought we’d see a drastic change in the coaching hot seat list and to a degree I think we have. One thing that remains is the man who’s been at the top of this list all along.
I really thought after two weeks that the man who’s sat at the top of this watch list would finally make his way out of the top three and into a safer territory. But as time progressed more into this young season we saw it was a little more clear that he wasn’t at all ready to move away from the top spot. If you haven’t realized who I am talking about then wake up and smell the coffee.
Its not that Fernando Clavijo is doing a horrible job already this season, its he hasn’t done enough in recent weeks to convince me that he is the right person leading Colorado still.
I waited until after a month into the season for that very reason. Two games in and it wasn’t enough for any coach, but five or six games in and we got a good estimate of how well some coaches were going to be this season and how well others weren’t.
Clavijo made the moves this offseason that got me and some other people high on the Rapids once again. But the hype was short lived as the Rapids have fell from grace real quickly already this season. The defense that he built isn’t scaring anyone right now and the offense that was suppose to be better hasn’t shown up in a couple weeks.
I’m still waiting on that go-to striker to step up under Clavijo here. But when he puts a 4-5-1 out on the field it is a little tough for that lone striker to make anything happen when his defense and his midfield aren’t getting the job done for him. Then again that lone striker, who ever it is, hasn’t been able to put the ball in the back of the net on a consistent basis so far either.
The two wins on the season looked nice but they have easily been over shadowed by the three losses. It wasn’t just the loss to the expansion San Jose Earthquakes that made me realize this but more so the shutout against the Quakes followed by the failure to get a result on the road in Chicago the following weekend when the chances were there.
Some may still think its too early to talk about these kinds of things but after a month I think it time to kick up the discussion about it. Look at last season, after a month and a half we saw two coaches get the boot. Reason enough to begin talking about this once more this season. I think Clavijo’s days are still numbered but its only if the Rapids front office realizes that or not here.
So no change at the top of my list. But after Clavijo it gets a little tougher.
Its no longer Sigi Schmid, who has done a remarkable job so far this season in Columbus. I would say the only thing against Schmid and the Crew is the attendance figures in Columbus. Not really something Schmid can control unless his team keeps winning.
No, the man who has moved into that number two position was my coach of the year a year ago, Preki. This was a bit hard on my part to come to but after three straight losses where his club has given up 11 goals in those three games has made me realize that Preki has to be placed on the hot seat here right now. I don’t think he will necessarily get fired here this season unless this trend continues on for a few more weeks. But I do think the recent play of his club has to be noticed.
Sure his club has been hit with an injury bug and some players haven’t quite got back into the swing of things here in the early stages of the season. I understand that but at the same time this club really didn’t lose much of its core from a year ago that won the west and was absolutely dominate at home. This year in the HDC the Goats have won a single game out of three (technically they were the road side against LA but its still their home field either way) and have given up eight goals in those games. Currently they are the worst defense in the league in terms of goals-against.
The last man on this three man short list may very well be off this list in a matter of a couple weeks. Dominic Kinnear has to get mentioned right now since his club is winless. Like Preki, I don’t see him getting the boot this season but based on overall play of his club and his lack of changes on offense I just feel like he has to be talked about here on the hot seat.
I think it will be short lived though. As much as I thought about keeping Juan Carlos Osorio at the three spot on this list, he had to move down since his club actually has a couple of wins and Kinnear’s doesn’t…yet.
Kinnear’s group hasn’t played well due to a number of excuses but unlike some other coaches that will probably be on this list in a couple weeks, Kinnear’s bunch actually has the talent to help him out. I think we all know this club is one striker away from being the Dynamo that has won two straight MLS Cups. But until Kinnear lands that striker he may have to be mentioned on the hot seat.
Coaches who’s butts are a little warmer than they should be:
4. Juan Carlos Osorio – that defense has to change or else his name will easily move up this list in a hurry. If you haven’t seen his club play in person, then you may not understand. This is not an Osorio-like defense right now in New York. Sure they got two wins at home but put them on the road and they are an entirely different side.
5. Jason Kreis – He made a lot of moves this offseason but I am wondering if and when they will pan out. The scoring still hasn’t shown up. I think RSL’s front office will keep him on board through this season but if they don’t start winning his seat could get a lot warmer before long.
6. Ruud Gullit – Right now it is find Landon Donovan and let him score. But Gullit should know that his defense won’t win him enough games to put this club into the playoffs. Either he has to start taking over roster moves from Lalas or he has to get on the same page as Lalas makes those moves. We know they will continue to wheel and deal here this season so one of those things has to happen for this club to look like a playoff bound team.
Coaches who’s butts have cooled off after a solid start (no particular order here):
– Steve Morrow: Nice start but it will only keep Dallas fans happy if his club can make it last through the summer and into the fall. Another summer where this club goes south and you will see his name moved up to the hotter portion of this list.
– Denis Hamlett: I really wondered what we’d see out of Hamlett this season and so far I have to say I am impressed by him. His club hasn’t been overly fancy but they are getting the job done. Once they figure out a way to be as good on the road as they are at home they will really worry a lot of people.
– John Carver: I don’t think it was really anything that Carver did in recent weeks that was special other than plugging in Amado Guevara and Laurent Robert into the lineup. Those were Mo Johnston moves that are paying off but Carver’s formation works for those guys and it is paying off big time in Toronto.
– Sigi Schmid: As mentioned earlier, Sigi’s seat really cooled off with the hot start this season. And good for him too, I was really happy to see him get his 100th win of his career in MLS.