- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On July 22, 2008
- 2 Comments
- Coaching Hot Seats, Fernando Clavijo, Juan Carlos Osorio, Ruud Gullit
Yes, I know it has been a while since the last update for this watch list. But unlike the rookie watch list, this one needs only to be tackled every now and then. The one of the last updates was right around the time that Dallas decided to give Steve Morrow the boot.
No one has been fired since but seeing that we are now at the “All-Star break” here (well sorta, there is a game tonight) it seemed like a good time to revisit this once more.
To be honest, I have kept up a little bit on the sidebar with this list but haven’t gone into any detail about it. The names you see are in the heat. Though I did have to take Real Salt Lake’s Jason Kries off the list due to his club’s recent success in the standings.
So who makes this list? Who is feeling the heat now at the All-Star break? Well, its still a couple of the same names and maybe one or two new ones that are fairly close to going on the hot seat. Let’s see, shall we?
1. Fernando Clavijo, Colorado Rapids: I think at this point we all know that Clavijo is and will forever be on the hot seat. He is a lame duck coach right now and I honestly see no way of him being resigned by the Rapids this winter. The only way however would be a MLS Cup run, meaning either get to the game and win it all or just get to the game. That may really be the only way to save him at this point is a trip to the MLS Cup.
It won’t happen though. His club is like his coaching style, inconsistent. Sure, they are currently still in the run of things here but its that inconsistent play that continues to haunt them. For the first couple months of the season it was win-lose, win-lose. No winning streaks and no losing streaks. By summer we finally saw streaks but none of them have been a winning streak. I believe the only other club this season to not have a winning streak of at least two games is San Jose. That’s not good company to be in.
An all-time record of 52-67-32 leaves me wondering why he has had a job this long in the league.
If they are to get back on track the games coming up will certainly help. Three straight at home coming up, but then another three straight on the road. Their final two months see them play the likes of Houston, Chicago, RSL, and New England at home. Not the clubs I’d like to face late in the year.
2. Juan Carlos Osorio, New York Red Bulls: Ah yes, another year and another New York coach feeling the heat. That’s probably the biggest reason why this club has yet to see success in it’s history, they quickly give up on a coach. Will that happen to Osorio this year? Well, it still may.
The club currently sits below .500% at 5-6-6 on the year. I know they recently sign a slew of players, while losing Jozy Altidore to Europe and seeing Claudio Reyna retire. Not to mention their best player has been injured a majority of this season. I get that, I do.
But aside from all of that this club has a terrible defense that was expected to be so much better with Osorio. I don’t know if it was because they cased too many former players of his like Wilman Conde before the season that they forgot to actually sign talent. Some people thought their defense was really good at the beginning of the year but over time its gotten to be pretty bad (26 goals allowed, tied for second most allowed in the league).
Now if these new players that Osorio has gone out and signed this summer actually work. There is some hope with a guy like Jorge Rojas but one guy isn’t going to turn around that defense over night.
I look at that remaining schedule and while they have plenty of winable games to get them in contention, all of their road games look rough (at SJ, twice at Chicago, at RSL, at Columbus, and at DC). All of them are places they don’t play well at. With 13 games left, they have to make the most of their home games. They can get it done but its going to take a lot of work and some Osorio magic to take place.
3. Ruud Gullit, LA Galaxy: They’ve been great at times and have been absolutely bad at times this season. We know the offense can score, we do. And we know the defense can’t defend a team of 90-year old women, we do.
Management has said that its MLS Cup or bust for this club. Now I don’t know if that means they would buy-out Gullits contract that was for a couple years or if they would just up and fire the guy. I think most still would like to see them fire Alexi Lalas regardless of what happens this season.
If he can improve that defense before the end of the year, this club has what it takes to win it all. With that offense you can pretty much beat anyone on a good day. Plus it doesn’t hurt that the MLS Cup is in the HDC this year.
Their schedule left sees them on the road eight times. Yikes, only five home games! Well, okay six because they play Chivas one more time. Still, for a club that isn’t great on the road, that isn’t a good thing. Not to mention with the up coming World Cup qualifiers this fall, they will be without Landon Donovan for some time, Carlos Ruiz (if they don’t trade him), possibly David Beckham, and possibly Edson Buddle. All key parts to this club.
Others close to the fire:
- Curt Onalfo, Kansas City Wizards: Another season with no playoffs could be trouble for Onalfo, even with a young team. I doubt he will really get the boot this year or even in the winter but their offense and defense leaves me little reason to get excited about them this year.
- John Carver, Toronto FC: Should the Reds see another second half stumble like last year you can bet Mo Johnston won’t think twice about pulling Carver off the job. But Mo better be finding Carver a striker ASAP. Ten goals in the last nine games isn’t going to cut it.
- Dominic Kinnear, Houston Dynamo: No way Kinnear will get the boot but the fact that his club sits currently at 4-4-8 on the year isn’t too good either. I’m hoping SuperLiga put a spark in this club.
Who is missing here? Let’s hear it, did I miss a coach that deserves to be on the hot seat right now? Don’t like the main three that I picked? Comment below.