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MLS Bucks Incumbent Coaching Trend

ESPN Soccernet's Steve Davis extends kudos to Major League Soccer for (sort of) shirking the American professional sports tradition of recycling "marginally successful managers and coaches." Davis says the practice has plagued American baseball, basketball and football for decades, preserving the "expedient choice" instead of blooding new guys who are often "relegated to assistant roles."

However, MLS this year has proven that fresh faces can be a big hit. Five newbies have taken charge of MLS clubs this season; four of them, Preki (Chivas USA), Tom Soehn (D.C. United), Curt Onalfo (Kansas City) and Steve Morrow (FC Dallas) would be considered success stories. Even Jason Kreis (Real Salt Lake), the fifth, has shown a few encouraging signs following key trades and the late edition of some influential Argentines. Aside from Kreis, these coaches have winning records, and they're all young. Davis says that one of them -- most likely Chivas' Preki or D.C.'s Soehn -- will be named MLS Coach of the Year.

Meanwhile, MLS' veteran coaches are struggling. L.A.'s Frank Yallop, his job hangs by a thread. Fernando Clavijo of Colorado continues to drive his team sideways, while Sigi Schmid and the Columbus Crew hardly look a dependable choice to make the post-season, either. Mo Johnston can't win -- much less score -- in Toronto, and Bruce Arena's season in New York has been an exhausting up-and-down roller coaster. Indeed, only Dominic Kinnear (Houston) and Steve Nicol (New England) have been able to maintain better than average results.

Read the whole story at ESPN Soccernet »

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