Who cares about Hillary and Barack? United stinks right now and I’ve got the men who can save it.
Look, I don’t actually know if Soehn is going to get canned. So yes, it’s presumptuous to start thinking about candidates for his job. But, with the new ownership, I feel the odds of a midseason firing are far, far higher than they ever were under AEG or other past owners. Here is my list of candidates, in the order how much I want them here (not necessarily how good they are).
Enrique Meza – Pachuca is clearly on to something and he’s managed to win more silverware recently than any other manager in the hemisphere. If you really wanted to make a splash in the soccer world (not the marketing world), you’d offer him the world to come here. Listen to this resume: four Mexican league titles, two CONCACAF Champions Cups, one Superliga and even a Copa Sudamericana thrown in (the first Mexican team to win a CONMEBOL tournament). Would it take a lot of money? You bet. Might it be worth it? Absolutely.
Bruce Arena – Look, I know a lot of people have soured on Arena after the 2006 World Cup and his time in New York. But you need to look at his total body of work. As a college coach, he succeeded more than anyone not named Jerry Yeagley. As an MLS coach, he’s succeeded more than anyone else ever including success at the CONCACAF and international levels. As the USA coach, he took us to the quarterfinals, further than the US had ever gone before. It’s easy to forget all that. Plus, his arrogance and demand for excellence are the groundwork that DC based its success off of. United demanded more from its players and they consistently delivered for Arena. Sure he’s arrogant. But frankly, he’s earned it. He’s theoretically available too, but we might have to release him from Sean Wheelock’s basement, where he’s being forced to do Wizards color commentary.
John Harkes – Now we enter the realm of the missing silverware. Sure he’s available and certainly has the experience in MLS and the sport as a whole to give it a try. He’s known for being very arrogant though, and as a manager without any silverware (unlike Arena, who’s even more arrogant) players might get sick of him awfully fast. He’s got great local ties and hiring him might be a case of getting in on the ground floor of something very good. Of course, he could also be quite bad. We don’t really know.
Ritchie Williams – Certainly fits United’s recent height requirements but with only a brief interim period in charge of NY, is he experienced enough to come back to DC as head coach. He obviously didn’t make that much of an impression (not being retained) but who knows what Red Bull is thinking these day.I think he’ll be a head coach in MLS, I just don’t think DC is going to be his first job.
Dave Sarachan – We now enter the retread division with Mr. Sarachan. It’s important to remember that after his first season where he won the Open Cup, Supporters Shield and reached the MLS Cup Final, the only other trophy he won was another Open Cup. I’ve always thought he was a bit overrated but he’s an established, experienced MLS guy who is available, which means he’s definitely a candidate.
Mauricio Cienfuegos – Now here is a local splash. He is in his first year of head coaching in El Salvador right now. He was though an assistant coach with Galaxy for a period. I wouldn’t rule him out as an MLS coach in the future, just probably not yet.
Raul Diaz Arce – He’s currently coaching the US U-17 Team. He’s never coached adult pros before but, man, what a local splash he would make.
Thomas Rongen – Stop yelling, stop yelling. I think he would end up coaching United only in an interim role while DC possibly shopped around overseas for a coach. He’s not a long term solution for anything, but as an interim, you could do worse than Rongen.
Hugo Sanchez – Sure, he’s totally incompetents, been gigantically unsuccessful everywhere he has been and is universally disliked by US fans – but man, would he be fun to cover… and he’s not too busy right now. The team would be awful, of course.
Greg Andrulis – I kid, I kid. Though he is in town. I am stunned that I’ve never once seen him at a United game since he joined GMU. I wonder if the thought of pro soccer gives him a rash or a case of the sweats. After the job he did in Columbus, it should.