Michael Lewis wonders why, considering the dismal record of foreign coaches in MLS, new New York Red Bulls sporting director and general manager Erik
Soler reportedly wants to hire someone from Europe. Lewis defines a foreign coach as someone who had little or no MLS experience or a coaching background in the United States before taking
over an MLS team, thus exempting former MLS player Peter Nowak or former MLS assistant coach Steve Nicol.
Writes Lewis, "The failures are across many nationalities: English, Dutch, Portuguese, Brazilian, Italian, Serbian, and Northern Irish. Their total record? It's a rather sorry 136-204-41, a .411 winning percentage, never finishing above .500 in a full season, never getting out of the first round of the playoffs (in three tries) and no MLS Cup titles."
Some of the biggest flops were Irishman Frank Stapleton, New England Revolution (1996); Englishman Bobby Houghton, Colorado Rapids (1996); and Dutchman Ruud Gullit, Los Angeles (2008). But the Red Bulls (nee MetroStars) have had the largest share of disppointing imports on their sideline: Portuguese Carlos Queiroz (1996), Brazilian Carlos Alberto Parreira (1997) and Serb Bora Milutinovic (1998-99).
More recently, three Englishmen have failed to steer their teams to into the playoffs: John Carver and Chris Cummins, Toronto FC (2008-2009); and Gary Smith, Colorado Rapids (2008 to present).