MLS Coaches’ Listings (e.g. Endangered, Threatened, etc.)

With it looking a whole lot like no current head coach in Major League Soccer (MLS) will lose their job by the end of the year, now seems a good time to look at who might suffer the fatal blow after the(ir respective team’s) season ends. Coming after the season, this is less a “hot seat” phenomenon than a coup de grace for a career that sloughed its mortal coil at some point in the season. The transitional nature of the off-season, when re-tooling represents a norm of sorts, might even expand the pool of candidates for the sack. For what it’s worth, I think it should; if I worked a front office, I’d certainly mull over a new direction – especially if an early exit from, or missing the playoffs altogether, afforded a little more time for such considerations.

Before getting into potential candidates for “spending more time with their families,” I’ll start by listing the coaches whose tenures seem safe: Tom Soehn (DC United); Dominic Kinnear (Houston Dynamo); Preki (Chivas USA); Juan Carlos Osorio (Chicago Fire); Bruce Arena (Red Bull New York); Jason Kreis (Real Salt Lake). Yeah, I know: Jason Kreis? I’m fairly confident he’ll get more time – e.g. one year at least to build his team – before being judged against his record. As for the rest, call those 100%, dead certain. (DISCLAIMER: barring changes in health (e.g. heart attack), lifestyle (e.g. becoming trans-gender), social sanity (e.g. saying in a public space “’Minority A’ makes me uncomfortable.”)

By now, you may picked up on some curious omissions from the above. As I see it, the realm of possibility should be pretty roomy (though, clearly, not roomy enough to include Kreis). Put another way, five games to go (give or take) means changes in circumstance remain relevant.

With that in mind, I have listed the remaining MLS coaches below flagging each as either “watch-list,” “threatened,” or “endangered” (can’t imagine the inspiration for that one). In the comments, I’ll get to details like how a given coach can move from the watch-list to threatened status and why I think this coach or that is endangered. And, so, going from the least at-risk population to the most: Continue reading

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EPL Daily: Mass Exodus at Stamford?; Defoe still no respect;

The UK’s Sun – among many others – are reporting that Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard, Michael Essien, Florent Malouda, Ricardo Carvalho, and several others are on their way out after the departure of Jose Mourinho. It won’t essentially happen until the summer, but could you see this kind of mass move going through or is it just an example of post-partem hysteria? We’ll see…

Jermain Defoe still will have to fight for a starting spot again at White Hart Lane, despite his 2 blazing strikes against Anorthosis Famagusta in a 6-1 drubbing of the Cypriot squad. Jol – who is on the hot seat himself – has said he will only get a real look if a new contract is signed sometime soon. With the results within the EPL going the way they are, I feel like Jol has no real bargaining chips. The truth is – when you’re 1-1-4 and with no real signs of recent improvement – you have to switch things around. And what a sacrifice it is (complete sarcasm), throwing Defoe in there as a ‘curveball’. Jol should be sacked. Other rumors – very unsupported ones – point Mourinho as possible successor (some have even said Manchester United, a replacement for Ole Fergie).

Martin Rogers has really established himself as a guy ready to cover every aspect of football/soccer. All this for Yahoo! Sports. I look forward to what he writes every day and it never seems to get stale…take a look at his recent feature on Hollywood FC. A club team in LA that has the financial backing of Without a Trace’s Anthony LaPaglia (and a former semi-pro Aussie keeper at that) and the soccer studs that were Frank LeBoeuf, Eric Wynalda, Vinnie Jones, etc. Take a look.

FC Dallas 1-1 Chicago: Good Game*…um…Offside Equalizer?

(* This asterisk is meant to indicate I caught only about 25 minutes of the second half, but I’m assured by trustworthy parties that this was a good game.)

(UPDATE: Future readers of this post should check the comments.  Hats off to Tim for suggesting a method of checking for offside.  The present position of this page: Carlos Ruiz was, in fact, on side.)

The bomb of a goal Chris Rolfe produced to give the Chicago Fire the lead over FC Dallas will probably be what most people remember about last night’s game; it truly was something.

But having watched the video clip currently pasted on MLSnet.com’s front page about six times now, count me very surprised that another talking point is, at time of writing, nowhere to be seen. (Memo to readers from the future: that front page highlights will, no doubt, be long gone by Saturday, so you’ll have to pop over to the archived video; P.S. do you have flying cars yet? Do you eat food from tubes?). That talking point: um, wasn’t Carlos Ruiz offside when Clarence Goodson knocked on his assist? Apart from watching the video six times, I have repeatedly frozen the image at the crucial moment (right around the, um, “latter half” of the 20th second of that front-page video clip) and feel pretty comfortable saying Ruiz looked more than a step or two offside. In fact, if you listen closely to the audio I think you can hear Eric Wynalda start to say something, only to drowned out by Glenn Davis’ excited shouting.

Then again, I would feel pretty comfortable in thinking Ruiz was offside if it weren’t for the fact that none of the reports I’ve read so far makes any mention of it (LINK, LINK, LINK). I’m checking players’ quotes and I focused on the Chicago media, on the theory they’d be the more aggrieved, but I’m just getting disappointment at the tie – from both teams, for the record. I’m about to wander to Chicago’s corner of BigSoccer, an act that can only mean I’m desperate for some kind of confirmation of what I saw…or, rather, what I think I saw….dang it. Well, here’s the place I expected to see something and…nope. Nothing. It’s not an easy call by any means, but it’s something you can see in slow-motion – Ruiz is out front and the defense keeps running back with the ball – but, dang, he really looks offside.

Anyway, don’t get me wrong: I prefer the outcome as is: it keeps Columbus in it (my pity-crush) and I have that soft spot for Dallas. And, yeah, it was a good game, good pace, lots to like about this one. Looking forward to the weekend.

One-liner guide to La Liga–Jornada 4 ¡Qué guay!

In my constant quest to indocrinate the Western World in the joy that is the Spanish culture, I present to you sangria. Now, you can make sangria in lots of different ways, but I give you my recipe, which I find to be the best. It’s adapted from a few Spanish recipes, but I find it to be the best tasting, sometimes a bit strong.

1 bottle 750ml red wine (white just isn’t the same)
1 to 1.5 cups of Brandy (no rum!)
2 oranges
1 apple (the apple sucks a lot of the flavor out)
A bunch of Cherries
1 lemon
1 lime
2 20 oz bottles of Sprite or 7-up
Sugar-add to taste
Cut the fruit into little pieces, you don’t have to skin the fruit if you don’t want. Add the alcohol together, then put in the fruit and add sugar. Don’t worry about adding too much sugar as it should be somewhat sweet, but the bottles of 7-up take out the huge alcohol taste (if my Spanish family knew I was putting 7-up in they would kill me). When done, settle in for a great week in La Liga. (Hey, if I could buy Cruzcampo or Mahou in the states, I wouldn’t have to make sangria!)

And without further ado, CHI’s very own One Liner Guide to La Liga–Jornada 4
As always kickoffs are in Spanish time, (minus 6 hours for the East Coast, etc)

 

Menudo Partidazo of the week!

Barcelona-Sevilla Saturday, 22:00 La Sexta
Both had 3-0 games in the Champions League but on other sides of the win loss column, does Sevilla have what it takes to win La Liga this season?

The rest after the jump

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