Johnston: Thought Today Was Canada’s April Fool’s Day For a Second

So, I check MLS Rumors, as I often do, and there’s this story about Toronto FC’s Mo Johnston resigning from head coaching duties.

Down at the bottom of the post, there’s a link saying “Here’s confirmation.” That takes me to another blog, one I don’t know at all. So, I consider for a second that there may be a Canadian version of April Fool’s Day and the possibility that day could be today…or whatever the hell day it is across the International Dateline (it’s up there somewhere, right?).

Just as I’m trying to remember that, I check Google News and there it is, in the National Post. That paper, I’ve heard of (though I cannot, in fact, vouch for its quality).

So, it looks like Mo Johnston did indeed resign his head coaching position. But, as the article puts it, he’s “moving upstairs” to a manager/director of soccer role…from which, I am confident, he will make bat-shit crazy trades on a daily basis.

Whoops…and some dude of which I’ve never heard, John Carver, will take over as coach.

BONUS MATERIALS: For those having trouble suppressing unwholesome urges, help is available – on ebay, if I’m not mistaken.

Also, I took this “Hell Test” yesterday – as in, are you going – and scored on the (very) high side of normal (92).  If my memory of some events were better, that might have inched higher…not much, mind, but a little.

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Daily Sweeper, 12.10.07: Et tu, Osorio?

As of today, I’m planning on running the Daily Sweeper feature at the end of the day. The odds of this changing are very, very low. But it makes sense, right? I’ll be “sweeping up” all the news from a given day, so it only makes sense that I wait till the day is over. Right?

– I suppose Ives Galarcep provides the big story of the day with his Soccer by Ives exclusive that has the Chicago Fire’s 2007 head coach, Juan Carlos Osorio, moving East to coach Red Bull New York. I’ll throw out the ESPN write-up he did, but the exclusive he posted in his “special place” contains the largely same information, only more of it. And the final paragraph of the exclusive contains a significant teaser as well:

“So who will coach Chicago now? Very good question…Assistant coach Denis Hamlett is deserving of an opportunity, as are several other MLS assistants such as Richie Williams, Paul Mariner and John Spencer.”

I find every last one of those names enticing on one level or another. Should be fun seeing who gets the job.

Getting back to Osorio’s move to Red Bull – and my provocative title – there is something a little sleazy about the whole affair, isn’t there? I’m all for employment mobility, but to jump to a rival and on such short notice? I suppose the first thing I want to know is how Chicago fans are reacting (don’t have time to visit BigSoccer, or I’d just tell you). I’d check in on Chicago’s players next – and hope that Luis Arroyave will fill in some blanks fairly soon. I only know one thing for sure: I expect a duller New York side next season. More successful…mmm, probably. Just make sure to bring amphetamines to the games with you; the combination of Osorio’s tactics and beer should be approximtely equivalent to downing a half-dozen doses of Ambien.

– I would link to something about Mo Johnston killing rumors about his stepping away from the head coach’s role and into the Toronto FC front office, but, seeing as I don’t think it will change anything….whoops. In all seriousness, I may not rate Johnston too highly as a coach right now, but will also admit he’s had some damned tough jobs. Maybe next year, right?

– For his ESPN gig (does he have another one?), Jeff Carlisle threw out five names for U.S. National Team coach Bob Bradley to consider. I like ’em all except that darn Eddie Robinson…just kidding, Martek! He names some names I’d like to see, but, given our left-side injury issues, I’d include another one: Brad Davis.

Goal.com’s Kyle McCarthy compiled a Top Ten List for 2008’s biggest busts. Was there ever any question about #1?

– And, finally, WVHooligan does a brave thing and makes some early predictions for the 2008 season. Yeah, one of ’em went sideways already (see the first entry above), and I think he’s placing way too much faith in the New England Revolution’s operation, but the rest hold up to reason pretty well. That includes his ominous prediction for a Houston Dynamo three-peat. I know I keep coming up empty when I try to think who will beat ’em…maybe someone will sign the right ace. (As a side-note, just watch: now that I’ve ditched ’em, 2008 will be the year Bob Kraft finally reaches the end of his stingy, little rope and goes big to build the team. Just watch.)

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