The Chicago Sun-Times is reporting that the Chicago Fire will switch up his title, going from “assistant coach” to “head coach.” And, at time of writing, MLSnet.com retains its reputation for being the last place you want to check for breaking news about Major League Soccer (MLS); keep up the good work, you unpaid interns…
I’m not seeing anything on an announcement as yet, but would hope the Fire will pay Hamlett the minor courtesy of announcing the news on Monday, as opposed to slipping it out ahead of the weekend…the time when people in the political world announce news they want everyone to miss.
And when that conference starts, I almost want Hamlett to walk to the podium, say something like, “‘Bout time, assholes. Thanks for the vote of confidence on the way in.” But I also know that won’t really do on a number of levels. And, whether I like it or not, Fire defender C. J. Brown gets the big picture just about right:
”’If Denis has the opportunity to be a head coach, it doesn’t matter what they’ve already put him through,’ said defender C.J. Brown, who has worked with Hamlett since 1998. ‘He can always make a name for himself when he comes in and does his job.'”
Damn you, C. J., for being such a grown-up.
None of this would have mattered if word of the offer going to Houston Dynamo assistant coach John Spencer didn’t get out. It did, of course, and that situation kicks off the Hamlett era under poor auspices. The impression that the teams “settled on” Hamlett is virtually unavoidable and can only be erased by a sustained strong start; anything less, say a repeat of last year’s fast start, followed by a hard slump, will likely produce a “told you so” dynamic, one based on the notion that the relevant parties never quite bought Hamlett in the head coach’s job.
I can’t speak for Chicago’s fans, but assume a whiff of anti-climax attends Hamlett’s hire – and that’s whether they like him, and believe in him, or not. Assuming this goes through – and I don’t see why it won’t – Hamlett deserved better. Chicago’s fans deserve better – not better than Hamlett, but better than a front office that plopped a big gloomy cloud over their new head coach as he leads his team into the 2008 season.
To end this, however, on a positive note, I have only one thing to say: Give ’em Hell, Denis. Make them wash down their crow with a draught of their doubts about you.