It has been a while since I last updated my coaching hot seat post. In fact I don’t believe I’ve updated it since Carlos de los Cobos was about to be let go in the Windy city earlier this summer.
There really shouldn’t be too many surprising names on this list below. Some are on it due to the league passing them by in terms of how things are structured now. Others are on here because their owners don’t put enough behind them to help them out. And then there are those that had such high expectations placed upon them at the start of the season.
1. Hans Backe (New York Red Bulls) – In New York, the coaching carousel goes and goes. Backe is really the first coach in a long while to last more than a year with this club and it seems as though two years may be all he will get if this club doesn’t start winning. His offense is fine but he hasn’t been able to put together a solid enough defense over the last year and a half to really make things worthwhile. If things don’t change in a hurry with this club they could somehow miss the playoff this season. It’s hard to believe that this club, with so much promise and talent, could miss the playoffs. Remember when Backe was talking about how important things like the Supporter’s Shield were at the start of the year? Seems like a distance memory now.
2. Frank Yallop (San Jose Earthquakes) – This falls into a two prong kind of thing for me. For one, he and GM John Doyle probably need to go if this club fails to reach the playoffs this year. And two, this club needs a restart in a bad way. Yallop hasn’t had true success in this league since 2003, when times were drastically different and the competition was very thin. The club barely reached the playoffs last year and had it not been for a shocking win in New York and a crazy goal-scoring run by Chris Wondolowski, the team likely wouldn’t have had any hype going into this season. Injuries have played a part of this season for the Quakes for sure but at some point its also coming down to coaching. The club didn’t make any splash going into the season and waited until their season looked to be on the brink of a collapse before they made a move this summer. They’re still in the hunt for the playoffs but just barely. Things need to change regardless though in San Jose.
3. Steve Nicol (New England Revolution) – One of those where the league has passed him by a bit and his owners fail to pour any money into this club to help him out. I think we’re seeing more and more how important it was for Nicol to have Paul Mariner by his side too. Since Mariner left a couple years ago the Revs have been in nothing but a declining position. I bring it up because I see some of the moves Toronto is making right now and they clearly have Mariner’s finger prints on them.
But back to Nicol, he’s a great coach here. Don’t get me wrong, the talent has been there with this club over the years but in a way Nicol has run out of gambles and crazy moves that somehow worked a few years ago that don’t come close now. The Revs need to go on a ridiculous run to reach the playoffs this season and judging the way things have gone this year, it just isn’t going to happen.
4. Peter Vermes (Sporting Kansas City) – Before KC fans go crazy, hear me out. Vermes did a good job getting his club from a ridiculous road trip to start the season to a place where they could reach the playoffs. Key word there is could. With so many home games left and the club tying many of their first home games against fairly weak sides, it takes a little bit of the excitement out of KC opening that beautiful stadium. I still believe this club is going in a solid direction but I’m not sure Vermes is the right person to lead the charge. I’ve said for a couple months that something is just lacking with this club and its a reason why they aren’t blowing people away with that offense that should be scoring goals by the buckets.
Other not far away:
Frank Klopas (Chicago Fire) – He’s an interim coach, I know, but at some point he’s gotta hand over the keys to this club to someone who knows what they’re doing.
Dominic Kinnear (Houston Dynamo) – The Orange are lucky to be in the Eastern Conference right now, that much is true.