In the end, United goes with one of the two “conventional wisdom” picks in hiring former KC coach Curt Onalfo. It’s not a pick that makes you go “wow” or even “ooh,” but it’ll do. United couldn’t really afford to drag this out too much longer. I suspect no one wanted to show up to draft day with one eye on who United is picking and another on who United was going to hire.
Of course the process, more of a journey really, made one ask even more questions of DC United’s front office competence. In the end, I am happy that we at least got Onalfo. Is he a bit of a re-tread? I guess so. But he’s our retread, dammit. Yeah, I guess that’s the best thing I can say of the deal.
There are some real things to like about Onalfo though. One that immediately comes to mind is that he is fluent in Spanish. That’s a bit more useful in MLS than Soehn’s knowledge of German.
I guess the worst case scenario is that Caleb Porter goes on to later lead Toronto or Seattle (I had originially penned the Galaxy here, but Sounders fans are so much more obnoxious.) In that case, United will look ineffective for not being able to tie up a great coach and I go down as a blowhard of Ron Burgundian-proportions.
If not for my continuing doubts that the season will start on time, I’d be really excited to see what DC does with its draft picks and cap space likely to come with the reduction of cap hits (either through retirement, release or restructure) of Emilio, Fred, Gomez, Olsen, and Moreno.
I should also add that I really like the Cristian Castillo signing. I think he’s a quality player who will really enjoy playing in DC, home to the country’s largest Salvadorean community. It’s good too that United has Salvadorean of some note on the team. If United is truly going to “represent” soccer in the DC area, the club should have a Salvadorean or two. It’s not that the club must have Salvadoreans or should retain a quota, it’s just better that United does have a Salvadorean, and especially an international. Will his signing help United at the gate? Absolutely.