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MLS Coaches Need To Spice Things Up

  • SI.com, Tuesday, December 30, 2008 2:30 PM
"There's very little in the way of any coaching feuds in MLS," writes Andrea Canales, casting a wistful eye towards Europe and the psychological games and insults involving men like Jose Mourinho, Arsene Wenger and Alex Ferguson. "That's a shame, because it robs the game of a certain amount of intrigue."
 
Grudge incidents in MLS tend to be low key or quickly brushed over. Last season Chivas USA coach Preki was furious when Landon Donovan celebrated a goal in front of his bench, but the Galaxy's coach at the time, Ruud Gullit, apologized for his player. Toronto FC's English coach John Carver accused Columbus Crew midfielder Guillermo Barros Schelotto of diving, but also "went out of his way to state how much he respected Crew coach Sigi Schmid and how sure he was that Schmid didn't condone such actions."
 
Canales writes that only a coach from the outside like Carver "probably has a chance of shaking up the polite, diplomatic and utterly dull relations between MLS coaches, who are mostly Americans. Many of them are intertwined by bonds of loyalty and friendship. Galaxy coach Bruce Arena once mentored Kansas City Wizards coach Curt Onalfo and San Jose Earthquakes coach Frank Yallop. Yallop in turn guided Houston Dynamo coach Dominic Kinnear's early career. The handshakes at the start of games are not merely a gesture of civility, but of genuine respect."
 
This is all very nice for the coaches themselves, "but it's boring for fans. If at least a few would make resolutions this year to stop tip-toeing around each other, it would be progress. MLS could use an increase in intensity."

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