Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Caleb Porter to remain at Akron

The University of Akron announced today that they have agreed to a five-year contract extension with head coach Caleb Porter, elminating him from DC United's search for a new coach.

Frankly I'm surprised. While Akron offers substantially more job security than a position in MLS, it is likely less pay, less prestige, and less potential for advancement. When fans mentioned Sasho Cirovski of Maryland as a candidate for United's coaching position, it was easy to dismiss the idea because after 17 years, Cirovski seems content to remain at UMD for the duration of his career. But at age 34, you would think that Porter would want more.

Where does that leave DC United? The obvious next move would be to sign Curt Onalfo to a three-year deal. But does anyone else get the feeling that there is still more going on behind the scenes?

I sure hope so.

If Onalfo interviewed with Payne and Kasper and has some great progressive ideas about the future of the club, then sign him up. But if that was the case, then wouldn't we have already signed him by now?

I just don't think this story is over yet. Because this isn't the ending that any of us had envisioned.


DCU Curmudgeon said...

I don't share your hope that there is more to the story behind the scenes. Sadly, the front office's track record of late does not inspire confidence that they are smooth behind-the-scenes operators.

If, as seems likely, there's no new coach until sometime in January, at the earliest, how the heck is he (or she!) going to get United's house in order in time for the preseason?

Chest Rockwell said...

I hope more is going on as far as an expanded coaching search. If Onalfo had any real ideas beyond "let's put in an extra forward", he'd still be in a job in Kansas City. He was not ready to be a head coach. If he comes in and we finish higher than 6th, I'd be shocked.

I'm also not considering seppuku over Porter's decision, because he was not a sure thing by any means. It's just that when the choices were narrowed to him or Onalfo, the gamble was worth it. Now, though, it's time to look all over.

The AMT said...

I think this is the risk whenever you lose a coach. It's all well and good to chant "Fire Soehn" in the stands, but when there's no choice who's actually better, this is where we're left.

I think Onalfo could be good here, though I was certainly more excited about Porter. It's pretty well established that Onalfo was out the door in KC unless he was top of the table. He got screwed by a GM who wanted to play coach; nobody would have survived there.

That said, I could also live with the idea of an Enigmatic Foreign Coach (apologies to Mr. Hund). The things this team needs the most in a coach are tactical knowledge/sophistication and the ability to develop talent. We have assistants on the bench and the know-how in the front office to cover the MLS eccentricities. The other stuff can come from anybody, foreign or domestic.

This is all a really round-about way of saying, I'm continuing to keep an open mind on the whole proceeding.

Anonymous said...

I think losing the College Cup final left a bad taste in Porter's mouth. If he had won, he might have been ready to move on, but having come so close and not won it probably makes him feel like he has unfinished business. His team is still young and he probably feels he can make it back to another final. It also seems like he genuinely likes Akron, otherwise he could have opted for the Indiana job which is a coveted job among college coaches.

We also don't know how much DCU was willing to pay or how much time and control they were willing to give him. Cirovski has noted that he would be reluctant to go to DCU because he would not be in complete control and I imagine a young coach like Porter would get even less leeway.

Maybe Onalfo is the best we can get. You gotta figure that if Tommy wasn't interested in fighting for the job, then we are a very long way from ever interesting the Hiddinks, Guardiola's or Hodgson's of this world, let alone a decent college coach.

Anonymous said...

I understand the job security arguement, but to me, it should be the least of Porter's worries. I think if he went to MLS, he could easily return to college. Probably not at Akron, but at a program at a similar level. One could also say that he will probably get another shot at MLS, but this is depending on continued college success. I, personally, was dissapointed. mainly since his was the candidate of intrigue. Onalfo.....bleh.