Who will be DC United’s next coach?

Sure, Tom Soehn isn’t technically gone yet. But we all know he’s doomed. That’s why it’s time to start speculating on his replacement. Here’s my latest odds.

Richie Williams, current Red Bull interim coach – Now that virtually everyone I have spoken to, both close and distant to the situation, say that Red Bull clearly wants a name head coach going into its first season at Red Bull Park. This leaves Williams, who has done better with a devastated squad than anyone could’ve expected, available for DC to pluck their much beloved former midfielder out of Red Bull interim hell and give a head coaching gig, which he really earned years ago. Williams is the fans’ favorite right now and just seems to make perfect sense for a playing squad in need of some organization. Odds: 3/2 favorite

Carlos Llamosa, current Chivas USA assistant – Another beloved former player in DC just like Willams, but Llamosa might be hurt by his lack of head coaching experience either in a full-time or interim capacity. I can’t decide whether his being a defender would be seen as an asset for a team that has had defensive issues for years now or that it might hurt his candidacy because he is following up another former defender in Soehn, one whose defenders tended to get worse during his tenure. Odds: 4-1

Curt Onalfo, former KC head coach – He’s another guy from within the United “family” but he’s also the only one of the top candidates who has failed in the top job before. I think it’s more likely he joins his old buddy Bruce Arena in LA as successor in waiting but I could see United making a play for him. Odds: 8/1

John Spencer, current Houston assistant – I think he’s a great coach but here’s why I don’t think he’s going anywhere. His boss, Dom Kinnear is one of the two guys (the other being Sigi) most likely to succeed Bob Bradley with the USA if he quits or is canned after South Africa. Spencer might prefer to wait and see if the Houston job drops in his lap if the USSF tabs Kinnear to replace Bradley. Odds: 12/1

Colin Clarke, current PR Islanders head coach – Here is upset special pick. He’s done great things with very limited resources down in Puerto Rico and had demonstrably more success in the Champions League than anyone else on this list. I think he has clearly returned a second shot at MLS, particularly with a team not owned by the Hunts. Whether that chance will come with United is the bigger question. Odds: 15/1

Sasho Cirovski, current Maryland men’s coach – It’s almost impossible to imagine United going with a college coach that has no professional experience outside the old Canadian Soccer League and NPSL. That said, Cirovski has done great things at Maryland. He has shown that he can do more than grind out results, but instead plays an uptempo, attacking style that feels more professional than your average college team. Still, this would be complete and utter shocker if they were to go with him. Odds: 50/1

Marco Etcheverry, current Oriente Petrolero (BOL) head coach – I tend the subscribe to the theory that if he’d really wanted to get involved with the coaching staff at DC, he’d have joined the staff years ago. I also worry that he could be a guy like Ted Williams or Ruud Gullit or just cannot relate to or understand players that don’t have the kind of talent that he had. Odds: 75/1

Greg Andrulis, current George Mason men’s coach – Just kidding.


9 thoughts on “Who will be DC United’s next coach?

  1. I would be happy with ABMOD or Onalfo.

    For a complete out of the box choice, I throw out Juande Ramos, who was just sacked today.

  2. With Mariner off the table, the short list of assistants waiting their turn has really changed in the last couple of years. Hamlett seems to be surviving in Chicago, Williams looks like he’ll have options this off-season. Another wild-card would be Brian Bliss who, now that Warzycha seems to have settled the natives in Columbus and isn’t likely going anywhere (this year), might be in the market.

    I’m guessing that Kris Keldermann is going to need to rehab his reputation after being tossed out with Onalfo. Hmmm. Let’s do this right.

  3. Chicago – All three assistants are long time MLS coaches, with Jeffries having held the top job in Dallas – Mike Jeffries, Mike Matkovich, Daryl Shore

    Chivas – Llamosa definitely is on the path, but I agree that it’s too early

    Colorado – Does Paul Bravo want to coach or just be a suit? I can see Steve Guppy working towards a top job, but like many, I think it’s too early. David Kramer is another coach with long MLS ties.

    Columbus – I’m sure Bliss could land a head job if he started seeking one. Lapper probably still needs some time. I’m not sure about Irabarren

    DC – obviously if Soehn is out and DC really cleans house, I doubt they promote either Simpson or Ashton – but both are definitely on the list of assistants that should get consideration for other jobs.

    Dallas – The only one with the resume is Ellinger, and I think he still needs to find some success as an assistant – or outside of MLS – before he lands a second job after the expansion disaster that was RSL

    Houston – I agree that Spencer is now number one on the assistant charts. I’m also guessing that Hanley isn’t looking at going anywhere other than working for Dom or Frank.

    Kansas City – I’m guessing that Peter Vermes, if he keeps his job as Technical Director, will be looking to hire from this list. The main scuttlebutt is that Preki is not popular in Chivas-land, and that the Wizards would love to have him back in the fold. It’s way too early to discuss Kerry Zavagnin as a head coach.

    Los Angeles – Dave Sarachan is probably just behind Spencer – but like Spencer he may be quite happy where he is. I’m somewhat surprised that Cobi Jones has yet to start to enter the discussion of former players, now assistants, looking for shots in the top job. Another year or two under Arena, and I’m sure he’ll get his chances.

    New England – Gwynne isn’t going anywhere.

    New York – If Williams isn’t a head coach next season in MLS, I’ll be stunned. If Des McAleenan is a head coach in MLS in the next four years, I’ll be stunned. The wild-card is Jeff Agoos. Bliss, Agoos, Vermes, Henderson – there’s a lot of young talent in the TD spots around the league that could also be in play for head coaching jobs if they showed interest – especially as MLS continues to expand.

    Salt Lake – Jeff Cassar, Brian Johnson, and Robin Fraser. I can see all three of those eventually being head coaches in college, USL, or MLS. Not next year, though. Fraser is the most interesting of the three in my book. One measure of progress is how many members of the technical staffs of MLS and USL 1/2 clubs have playing experience in MLS. The former MLS pros have pushed, in a very short period of time, the vast majority of the original generation out.

    San Jose – Add John Doyle to the list of TDs (his title is actually General Manager) to the list of suits that could be in play for sideline jobs if he wanted. Ian Russell appears to have adopted the Dominic Kinnear career path, smart man. Ronnie Ekelund is listed as a “technical advisor” for the team. Is he part of the game day staff?

    Seattle – I don’t see Schmetzer going anywhere. He gave up the USL Sounders top job to take a seat down the bench from Sigi, and we all expect Sigi to eventually head south on the coast at some point. Ezra is in the Zavagnin stage of his coaching career – check back in in a few. Henderson, as mentioned before, went from the third guy down Onalfo’s bench to the TD spot in Seattle. Not sure if he’s interested in returning to the field or not. If he was, I don’t know that he’s ready to step into a top spot without more experience on the sideline. Tenney looks like a fitness/gk coach lifer to me.

    Toronto – Dasovic was second choice to Cummins for interim coach. Nothing else to see here.

    Additionally the USSF list tends to offer up possibilities.
    Both Thomas Rongen and David Dir of the U20s have MLS head coaching stints on their resumes. It’s obvious that Dir has been blackballed, and frankly it’s so long since he’s been in the league, I would be shocked at a return. Rongen is more interesting. Possibly the most controversial coach on these boards – especially in DC.

    I think Wilmar Cabrerra needs to show some success before getting a shot, and I think the experience of Ellinger moving from the U-17s to RSL counts against him. Diaz Arce and Maissoneuve are not listed as coaches for Nigeria, but both have done time with the U17s

    This close to the World Cup, I don’t see any of Bradley’s assistants jumping ship.

  4. If DC United is going to continue to get classy players, they better consider a classy coach.

    Stop Experiencing with “1st timers”. I honestly think Soehn is going to mature into a very good coach, but he’s still raw. Novak Started great, but his attitude was alittle “too much”.

    Of all the names mentioned, Etcheverry is one I would like to see WAY down the road, assuming he is successful in the Bolivian league. That league is soo much different then MLS though. Way more tactical, but also alot slower then MLS. He should have gone with ARENA.

    If anyone from the list is hired, it better be Colin Clarke. If this dude can move mediocer players to beat top flight CONCACAF teams, then imagine what he’ll do in DC!

  5. Agoos is the exact opposite of “talented”. Just saying

    D.C will get ABMOD and he will do a very good job* for them while RBNY cocks up their “name” choice and continues to flounder because their ownership has no clue either.

    *I don’t know about great, but he won’t be a disaster in the Soehn/Andrulis/Osorio mold either

  6. As I said in another thread, if you’re considering Clarke, why buy retail? You might as well hire Bora Milutinovic. Or Bob Gansler.

    And if you’re going to judge coaches based on Concacaf, I’d rather have Marathón’s Manuel Keosseian.

  7. What about Martin Vasquez. Assistant under Schmid at LA, under Bradley among others at Chivas, & under Klinsmann at Bayern Munich. If Preki leaves Chivas USA he may end up there.

  8. What is Steve Morrow doing these days? That guy wasn’t given nearly enough of a shot. I’m reminded of that because the guy who fired him to cover his own ass, FCD GM Michael Hitchcock, himself just got fired today.

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