MLS unveils Coaching Diversity Initiative

MLS has announced the creation of the Coaching Diversity Initiative, which requires the league's teams to interview candidates of diverse backgrounds for any open technical staff position. Technical staff positions include head coach, assistant coaches, youth coaches and technical director. Currently, among the 13 teams in MLS, there are two minority head coaches -- Colorado's Fernando Clavijo and Chicago's Juan Carlos Osorio -- and nine minority assistant coaches. Not a single black coach has been among the more than 60 head-coach hirings since the league's inauguration in 1996.

MLS's Coaching Diversity Initiative resembles similar measures taken in recent years by Major League Baseball and the National Football League.

"Ensuring diversity among candidates for our coaching positions is essential to our continued growth as a League for the New America," MLS Commissioner Don Garber said. "I applaud our Board for adopting this policy because it will create opportunities for coaches of all ethnicities, and help our on-field product continue to reflect the communities where our teams play."

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Team general managers or presidents are required to personally notify MLS Deputy Commissioner Ivan Gazidis of any coaching or technical staff openings.

Prior to hiring any coach or technical director, clubs are required to submit a list of minority candidates they have interviewed for the position. Garber has the authority, at his discretion, to impose sanctions on any team failing to adhere to this policy.

"MLS is committed to promoting diversity among its technical staff," Deputy Commissioner Gazidis said. "Soccer is the world's game and we look forward to the many dynamic influences and ideas that a diverse workforce can give us."

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