[MLS] Former Chicago Fire head coach Denis Hamlett is in Los Angeles and will interview for the vacant Chivas USA job Tuesday, a source told Soccer America Monday night. Hamlett has been mentioned in various reports as a candidate for the position, along with Real Salt Lake assistant coach Robin Fraser, U.S. national team assistant coach and former Chivas USA midfielder Jesse Marsch, former U.S. international Eric Wynalda, and former U.S. and Galaxy head coach Steve Sampson, along with several coaches currently working in Mexico.
Efforts to reach Hamlett and Chivas USA vice-president of soccer operations Stephen Hamilton Monday night were not successful. A Chivas USA spokesman contacted by telephone politely declined to comment, citing club policy in such matters.
In six seasons since beginning operations in 2005, Chivas USA has employed five head coaches: Thomas Rongen, Hans Westerhof, Bob Bradley Preki and Martin Vasquez, who found out two weeks ago his contract had been terminated after one season.
Hamlett’s regular-season record in charge of the Fire was 24-17-19. The team decided not to renew Hamlett’s contract in November of last year after he’d led the team to the Eastern Conference finals in both of his two seasons in charge. A locker-room scuffle with former defender Bakary Soumarein August, 2009, and a second straight playoff elimination prompted team officials to dismiss him and embark on a coaching search, which yielded Carlos de los Cobos. Chicago finished 9-12-9 under de los Cobos and missed the playoffs.
Hamlett, 41, has been the interim head coach at Illinois Tech, an NAIA school, since last August. The Scarlet Hawks finished the 2010 season first in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference regular season at 9-1 before losing the final of the conference tournament, 2-1, to Saint Xavier, to wind up 14-6 overall.
A native of Puerto Limón , Costa Rica, Hamlett attended George Mason University and played professionally indoors and outdoors. He played 31 games for Colorado during the inaugural MLS season in 1996 but was forced into retirement after suffering a stroke He joined the Fire staff as an assistant to Bradley for Chicago’s remarkable championship as an expansion team in 1998.