- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On May 20, 2008
- 4 Comments
- Steve Morrow
So it’s been a busy afternoon here in Dallas. Its not everyday a coach in town gets canned.
I must say I was a bit mixed about this firing. I thought there was plenty of heat on Steve Morrow but I didn’t think it was the right time to start placing the blame for the club’s recent play solely on him. It was more of a collective blame around the whole club for the recent play, not just Morrow though his coaching and tactics didn’t help.
Plus there are a couple reasons why I was a little surprised with firing.
- The owners (HSG) has made it pretty apparent in recent years that they didn’t like to do any kind of coaching or GM changes in mid season. HSG tends to let contracts expire before they do anything about them. Also, it was noted that GM Michael Hitchcock and Morrow were in a contract year this season.
- I also don’t completely buy into all the reports on the locker room issues and that there were issues over the Alvial firing a week ago. Sure those things didn’t help but I doubt it heavily weighed in on this decision.
Apparently something happened between the final seconds of the LA game on Sunday and this morning. A meeting between Morrow and the owners and Morrow and Hitchcock. Something didn’t go over well and the sides came to this result.
After sitting in on the conference call earlier today that was conducted by Hitchcock, I got a real sense that this was totally his deal and not the owners. Its kind of like he went to them and said, “look we can sellout this place but not with the coach doing the things he did on Sunday.” Again, Hitchcock is on a contract year and he knows he has to save his butt as well here with the owners and maybe cutting ties with Morrow was the case.
Let’s be real honest here too. Morrow and Hitchcock haven’t always seen eye-to-eye on things. Hitchcock brought in Denilson last year and he never really fit into what Morrow was doing. Neither would actually take the blame for the bust of a signing like Denlison but you could bet that one would probably blame the other if they got the chance.
I think in the end it was a bit early to fire Morrow but at the same time if he was indeed losing respect of his veteran players at this point in the season then it may be a smart thing here for his firing. Losing veteran respect in any locker room will do more harm than anything else. What’s exactly what you were seeing in Dallas over the last few weeks. Loss of respect lead to bad results on the field and uninspiring play.
There’s also the idea that his tactics weren’t winning him over and that was also causing the poor play. Not to mention his tactics in player signings and such. Those are well documented over the last couple of years.
I also think here that if things don’t change too soon that we could see Hitchcock on his way out as well. I’ve said for a while that the Hunts need to get him back into just selling tickets (which is what he is a master of doing) and relieve him of his GM title. Tickets are his thing, not players.
Also, Dallas needs to get a technical director in place soon, and it may be a good idea for that guy to pick the coach. Just an idea but that probably won’t happen
But until things change, its now time to look and see who will coach this club. Buzz already has a solid list of coaches that could fill the position.
Who do I have in mind? Names like Oscar Pareja come to mind. I think someone like New England assistant Paul Mariner or Houston assistant John Spencer have to get a look. Or maybe a former Bruce Arena assistants like Richie Williams or Jeff Agoos. I don’t buy into Steve Sampson or Hugo Sanchez as candidates.
Schellas Hyndman, the SMU coach has been offered the job a couple of times but has turned it down each time. Honestly, I wouldn’t offer him the job this time around. As good as he’s made SMU into these days, he hasn’t won a big one in the NCAA tournament.
If it were up to me I wouldn’t go for college coaches right now. Get a coach who understands the MLS system and that understands how to coach in Texas. So yeah, no Bruce Arena either here.