MLS: Four teams still have not named head coaches though that could change soon

The 2018 MLS season set a record for coaching changes with coaches at nine teams leaving during or after the season.

2018 MLS coaching changes:
NYCFC. Patrick Vieira --> Domenec Torrent.
Orlando City. Jason Kreis --> Bobby Murphy (interim) --> James O'Connor.
NY Red Bulls. Jesse Marsch --> Chris Armas.
LA Galaxy. Sigi Schmid --> Dominic Kinnear (interim) --> ?
San Jose. Mikael Stahre --> Steve Ralston (interim) --> Matias Almeyda.
Vancouver. Carl Robinson --> Craig Dalrymple (interim) --> Marc dos Santos.
FC Dallas. Oscar Pareja --> ?
Columbus. Gregg Berhalter --> ?
Atlanta United.Gerardo Martino --> ?

With less than two weeks to go before Christmas, four teams still have not named their new coaches. Here's a rundown on the situations ...

LA Galaxy. As various times in the last few weeks, deals with three different coaches appeared to be in the works.

MLSSoccer.com first reported that interim coach Dominic Kinnear, brought in for the final month of the season after the departure of Sigi Schmid, was being considered to remain as head coach. On the eve of MLS Cup, Yahoo Sports reported that the Galaxy was closing in on Jason Kreis, the former head coach at Real Salt Lake, NYCFC and Orlando City, to be head coach, only to amend the report shortly thereafter that Kreis might be hired as Kinnear's assistant.

Everything changed when Caleb Porter was spotted at courtside of Monday's Los Angeles Lakers NBA game with Galaxy president Chris Klein, his former roommate at Indiana, AEG president, Dennis te Kloese (named Galaxy GM on Tuesday) and CEO Dan Beckerman. That suggested that a deal for Porter might be in the works. Indeed, the Athletic reported on Tuesday that a deal with Porter was very close.

By Thursday evening, Porter was out of the picture, though. The Los Angeles Times reported that te Kloese didn’t like what he saw about Porter and ESPN FC described te Kloese's view as being Porter wasn't the "right fit" for the Galaxy. But both publications also reported that the view of the situation from Porter's perspective was different: He had turned down the Galaxy job.

Columbus. Those reports came after the Athletic reported on Thursday afternoon that Porter, who stepped aside at the end of 2017 from coaching after five seasons with the Portland Timbers, was in the final stages of negotiations to become the Crew coach, replacing Gregg Berhalter, and return to Ohio, where he coached the University of Akron, the 2010 NCAA Division I champion.


Photo: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

With Berhalter's departure to the U.S. national team, the Crew is also in need of a technical boss, and ESPN FC confirmed former U.S. national team and LA Galaxy coach Bruce Arena and former New York Red Bulls sporting director Ali Curtis had interviewed to be general manager at the Crew, which is in the process of being sold.

FC Dallas. Since Oscar Pareja left to become the new head coach at Mexico's Tijuana, MLSSoccer.com mentioned three names has candidates for the FC Dallas head coaching job: U.S. U-20 head coach Tab Ramos, longtime FC Dallas assistant Marco Ferruzzi and FC Dallas academy director Luchi Gonzalez.

By the end of last week, MLSSoccer.com reported Ramos was unable to reach an agreement with the club and then followed up on Tuesday that Gonzalez was the frontrunner.

Atlanta United. Late in the regular season, Gerardo Martino announced he would not return in 2019. What kind of replacement was Atlanta United looking at?

Atlanta president Darren Eales told Dukes & Bell on 92.9 The Game before the playoffs that "we have a style of play and we want a new manager that fits that style of play because it’s our identity." After the Five Stripes won MLS Cup, Eales told Dukes & Bell that he wanted to have the coach in place by Jan. 14 when Atlanta United, which will be in the Concacaf Champions League, begins pre-season camp.

Names mentioned include Argentine Guillermo Barros Schelotto, who announced on Thursday he won't return as Boca Juniors coach in 2019, Argentine Jorge Sampaoli, who was named the coach at Brazil's Santos on Thursday, and Englishman Alan Pardew, who attended MLS Cup. (Barros Schelotto had also been mentioned as a candidate at Columbus, where he won MLS Cup 2008 as a player.)

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