Monday, January 13, 2014

Coaching Search Hints

Lots of tweets and inside information today on how this coaching search is going to go.  First from ESPN's Jeff Carlisle on Twitter:
#Rapids Prez Tim Hinchey w/re: to hiring new mgr: "We’re going to take our time. We’re going to be very considerate and deliberate." #mls
 More Hinchey: "We want to find the next coach that’s going to be here for a decade...That maybe this is their dream job." #Rapids #mls
Hinchey stated that he would sit down with TD Paul Bravo in Philly to begin discussing candidates. #Rapids#mls
Hinchey also added that #Rapids may appoint an interim mgr prior to naming someone full time. #Rapids#mls
Hinchey: Pareja's move to Dallas was "all on Oscar". Added he was disappointed professionally, but understood family factors. #Rapids #mls
Then from's Chris Bianchi on Twitter:
will not pursue tampering charges against over Pareja pursuit. Hinchey says FCD acted “very professionally” through process...
won’t sit down to discuss coaching candidates until next week. Bravo NOT candidate to be an interim HC...
Tim Hinchey on whether ex- player more likely to get HC job: “Yeah, I think so”. Team wants a long-term solution...
Appears Mastroeni could be candidate for position. Ultimately Bravo’s decision, but was not ruled out by Hinchey just now.
Long-term. RT : Do you mean Pablo as interim or long time HC?
Appears will go with ex-player (Fraser, Spencer, Mastroeni in mix) in coaching search. Team wants ex-player for longevity purposes.
Team feels that an ex-player has best chance at sticking around long term - perhaps feeling a bit burned by Pareja’s surprise departure.
No RT : Balboa?
Finally, a BigSoccer post from Buffbollocks, who has seemed to have some inside info int he past, and none of this contradicts what we've seen so far:
1. Pareja gave the FO his word he was committed and wanted to be here long term. Things changed when Pareja asked for one vanity hire that made no sense at all, and when Dallas continued to pursue through indirect channels. He's not going to make much more in Dallas, if any. 
2. Pareja had little to no say in last years draft, and the Rapids believe in the model of a strong technical staff to make player evaluations/decisions, and a manager to cook with the groceries they buy for him (to use the Bill Parcells analogy)
3. The Dutch technical guy they just brought in (name escapes me right now) is going to have an active role with whatever manager is selected in terms of game day tactics. For this reason, the Rapids are looking for a strong man manager/motivator and someone not simply looking at the post as a short-term stepping stone. 
4. There has been a very expansive and active search, I've seen at least 6 names, foreign and domestic, and they're looking to make the "right" hire based on their criteria and plan. Disagree with the plan all you want, I have a few questions myself, but to imply there hasn't been a plan or they're somehow scrambling is not accurate.
5. Rapids technical staff already working hard on draft evaluations and there is the possibility of one very exciting young player from a premier league side joining on loan with an option to buy. Obviously the manager will have some say on personnel, but they really are building an organization and structure when personnel decisions are made by Bravo and team. 
And later:
 Tampering is a bit strong, but Dan Hunt didn't exactly handle things the right way. Given KSE's respect for the Hunt family generally though, once Dallas coughs up the buyout and some extra compensation...Rapids will probably let sleeping dogs lie.
So where does that leave us?  With a very narrow set of requirements for the next coach.  Somebody who wants to be in Colorado for a decade, who's happy just being a coach and not having full control over the roster, and who will have to come in to the team late this season.  Obvious choices are Pablo, Fraser, and Spencer, with the Dely Valdes' still being an option I suppose.  Beyond that....?  *crickets*

Personally this feels like the Rapids didn't have a plan for what to do if OP left, even though they had to know the possibility existed as long as the Dallas job remained open.  The idea that they won't even sit down to discuss coaching candidates until "next week", after preseason training camp has opened, is mind-boggling.  At best the coach is going to be a good two weeks into preseason before he even arrives in Colorado, and the Rapids are seriously considering an interim coach.

The early part of the 2014 season has disaster written all over it.  Either there will be a coach still trying to integrate with the team or an interim coach that could leave at any moment.  Either situation does not lend itself to a stable team ready to put up points.  Bravo and Hinchey are really going out on a limb here, they could be throwing away a season that could be very successful with this roster with this plan.  Maybe they're on the right track, but I don't believe they are.  They really need to pull off an amazing hire to make this plan worth it.

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