Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Onalfo is latest victim of 'three and out'
by Ridge Mahoney, August 4th, 2009 7AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

[MLS]A catchphrase is routinely attached to teams that crash out of a competition after the first round, which often consists of a triad of games: three and out.

The failed U.S. World Cup campaigns of 1990, 1998, and 2006 come to mind, though staunch efforts such as those put forth by the 1992 and 1996 U.S. Olympic teams - 1-1-1 records and ties in their final games against Poland and Portugal, respectively - yielded the same outcome with greater honor.

For many well-known MLS coaches, it's also been three and out -- three seasons and they're gone.

The latest to fall at that hurdle is Curt Onalfo, who started for the USA in its 2-2 tie with Poland in 1992. His tenure as Kansas City head coach blew up 18 games into his third season Saturday when FC Dallas pummeled the Wizards, 6-0, at Pizza Hut Park.

Technical director Peter Vermes, who turned down the Galaxy job last season after AEG fired Ruud Gullit, will take over as interim head coach. (Contrary to many erroneous reports, Vermes was never offered the Seattle head coaching job.)

In his first head coaching assignment, Onalfo, the former D.C. United player and U.S. national team assistant coach, posted a 27-29-22 record in MLS play. Assistant coach Kris Kelderman has also been dismissed, which seems a clear indicator that a revamp of the coaching staff will accompany the move to a new stadium next season.

In Onalfo's first season, Kansas City went 11-12-7 and reached the Eastern Conference finals. Last year it improved slightly during the regular season to 11-10-9, but stumbled in the first round to eventual champion Columbus. With 12 games to go in the 2009 season, the Wizards are 5-7-6 and seventh in the East, only one place above the horrid Red Bulls. That track record is far from terrible, but it's also well short of impressive.

Onalfo and his players believe that the smallish dimensions at CommunityAmerica Ballpark don't suit their style of play. The Wizards are only slightly better at home (3-3-3) than on the road (2-4-3), and all team management needed was to do the math to see its dimming chances in a tightly packed playoff race. It is on pace to compile 35 points; this year, if a team doesn't hit the low 40s at least, it won't make the eight-team cut.

The "three and out" for MLS head coaches doesn't provide for three full seasons, mind you. It simply designates the season that quite often, the ax may come down if progress is deemed inadequate.

Fernando Clavijo
(New England),John Ellinger(Real Salt Lake), Tim Hankinson (Tampa Bay), Mike Jeffries(Dallas), Brian Quinn (San Jose), Thomas Rongen(D.C. United), Steve Sampson (Los Angeles), Ivo Wortmann (Miami) andOctavio Zambrano (Los Angeles as well as the MetroStars) all departed either during their third season or at the end of it.

When it operated the Kansas City team, Hunt Sports Group employed only two head coaches in 11 seasons: Ron Newman and Bob Gansler. OnGoal LLC, the company formed by the ownership group after it bought the team in 2006, is less patient or more ambitious, as the case may be.

Said OnGoal CEO and Wizards president Robb Heineman said. "We are committed to developing high-performance and consistency around our club."

 



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Copa Centenario: Castillo replaces Chandler on U.S. roster    
The USA has called in Edgar Castillo to replace Timmy Chandler on its roster for the ...
MLS Countdown: Kaka recalled by Brazil for Centenario    
The announcement came a day too late to benefit the Philadelphia Union, but Orlando City midfielder ...
U.S. Abroad: Gonzalez's Pachuca has edge in Liga MX final    
Omar Gonzalez, who was passed over for a spot on the U.S. Copa Centenario team, started ...
BeIN Sports adds special Copa Centenario coverage    
One vital aspect of soccer's increased television exposure is how events are treated by non-rights holders ...
USA-Bolivia: Spotlight on Pulisic's bid for starting job    
Christian Pulisic has already impressed his coach, Jurgen Klinsmann, enough that he's in contention to start ...
What They're Saying: Jozy Altidore    
"When Haiti qualified, I just thought it'd be a cool thing, because they haven't qualified for ...
TV Report: Fox network twinbill draws 1,613,000 viewers    
Last Saturday's FA Cup-MLS doubleheader on Fox reached a combined 1,613,000 viewers. Manchester United's 2-1 overtime ...
Concacaf turns to NBA for new CEO    
In another step to rehabilitate itself after five years of scandal, Concacaf hired Philippe Moggio out ...
Women's players' strike motions go to judge for decision    
Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman took under advisement competing motions for summary judgment made by attorneys for ...
USL: Lou City's Goodwin off to Harvard Medical School    
Goalkeeper Scott Goodwin announced that he's leaving USL club Louisville City FC to attend Harvard Medical ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives