DC United Next Coach Cup: The Group Stage

Time to kick off the DC United Next Coach Cup with the group stages. In true, bloated, FIFA money-grubbing fashion, we're going straight for the 32-name jugular. Some of these are serious candidates, others are waaaaaay out of left field or half in jest, so you can play it whichever way you like ("who could we actually get" or "dream scenario," your choice), this being a democratic blog and all.

We'll run this just like the World Cup. Eight groups of four in the group stage. Top two from each group advance (ties broken via email/tweet to random commenters who leave email or other United bloggers, should we encounter them) to the Round of 16, with group winners matched against runners-up. There are four "secret" seeds, chosen by me (hey, even democracy has limits, right?) that will be kept apart until the semi-finals, should they advance that far.

Starting whistle! The group stage will close on Sunday with Round of 16 pairings posted Sunday or Monday. Without further ado...


  1. I think we might see some upsets in the next round, because I don't like any of the choices in groups F or H.

    I like the inclusion of John Hackworth. He's likely to be an MLS HC eventually. But would he leave the USMNT before the World Cup?

  2. I purposefully constructed easy groups and "groups of death" because I'm a geek like that, but some of the results so far are pretty surprising.

    Of course, in the hours after posting this, I came up with about a half-dozen names that really should have been included, but I'm looking at them as the Holland, England, and Spain of yesteryear--really should have been at the big dance, but couldn't get their crap together in qualifying ;-).

  3. If you vote for me, I can promise the following:

    - Embarrassment subs: In college, I was on an intramural team that had one player who, due to total lack of experience, was just showing up to make sure we had enough people to play. When people made comical mistakes (like Fred's attempts at finishing, for example), we very loudly made it known that you had to immediately sub off for our unqualified teammate. I would be in favor of bringing in a celebrity to be the person coming on for the humiliated starter, though if that didn't work we could always sign Khano Smith. The important thing is that the person coming on has to be totally unable to play soccer with any semblance of quality.

    - Drinking: I will drink more alcohol than other MLS coaches during games. A nice gin and tonic would help out during those Sunday 3pm games in August, right? This will also endear me with the Barra and SEs, since I'll probably stop off at Lot 8 to get a good base layer of beer before games.

    - Proper clothes: Between Ray Hudson's disco pants, Peter Nowak's short-sleeved Adidas dress shirt, and Tom Soehn's collection of pastel garbage shirts, United's coaches have looked like a bunch of bums. I promise to wear crisp white shirts, black or gray suits, and reasonable ties (most likely having some combination of club colors). This will be the only truly professional thing I do.

    - Longwinded internet posts: A personal trademark. Just because I should be busy scouting and improving the current roster doesn't mean I will abandon spending too much time online.

  4. There you go United Next Coach Cup competitors. Chest has made his pitch. How about the rest of you? Richie? Curt?

    Sir Alex?

    Less than a day left, fellas...

  5. @Chest - The easiest thing to do would be to just resign Rod Dyachenko.

  6. "The important thing is that the person coming on has to be totally unable to play soccer with any semblance of quality."

    This represents a change... how? In fact, this is a step back from Soehn, who would usually START one or two players meeting that description, and occasionally remove the best player on the field before halftime. You know, just to stir things up...