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.