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 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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