The Curious Case of Caleb and the Question of Rot

The FO swings...the FO misses.

I'm confused and trying to figure out how I feel about this, so bear with me as I work my way through it...

Yes, Porter's Akron side were successful and played some nice ball (from what I've been able to see), but they ultimately fell at the final hurdle. In fact, that loss had to play a pretty big part in his decision to stay put, didn't it? Unfinished business and all that.

Does this qualify as the end of the world? Nope. I'm willing to bet that it would have taken Porter a while to get a decent handle on MLS. Sure, it's appealing to think that we could have had a nice rebuilding, handing the bright young thing the reigns of the team and letting him figure things out with a solid core of players in their early to mid 20's and some aging cowboys about to ride into their last sunset. Cue the Young Guns nonsense and all that...

Instead, we're back to square one.

Unless, of course, the FO is committed to going with their other "finalist," Curt Onalfo. I seem to recall that there was no little praise for the way Onalfo's 'Zards played in the early days of his reign, including some who wondered why we had gone with Soehn in the first place. Though it all came undone for Onalfo in KC, it was his first time riding lead. You think maybe he learned a thing or two?

And I wonder about all of this talk I see that Onalfo would be Soehn, version 2.0. True, I do have questions about what was happening with regards to motivation and tactical organization as his time in KC came to an end, but I'm not convinced that he's never going to be a good head coach based on that evidence alone. I would venture to guess that most are not blinding successes on their first attempt.

(I should also note at this point that I think much the same of Soehn. Though I didn't want him hanging around for another season in DC, I think that his future will be bright if he learns from his mistakes. He just needs time and distance to evaluate them...much like Onalfo.)

Presumably, Onalfo did enough in his interview(s) to convince the FO that he's a better option than the likes of Williams and Fraser. And he did have a a couple of playoff years at the helm on an MLS club, which means he's not exactly starting from scratch (Porter, Fraser, and Williams, to a lesser degree) or just learning how the league works (Porter). Sure, he's banged his head on the doorframe, but maybe that just means he's learned when to duck. All of that brings us back to a question for Payne and Kasper...

Sure Porter is the golden child of college soccer coaching at the moment, but was a successful college coach in the short term really the best choice to take the helm of a club mired in mediocrity?

Maybe I should address that question a bit higher up the food chain (hello, Will!) and ask this...

Aren't these the guys (Kasper/Payne) who were leaning towards keeping Soehn? What was all that noise last year about accountability for everybody in the organization?

I wonder if there's some more rot we should be digging out before we move forward...


  1. You have to think it wasn't much of a negotiation if both Payne and Kasper were out of town and not in Akron this week. "Hey Caleb, we mailed you an offer, let us know if you're interested".

    It would also imply that Onalfo was not one of two finalist since by default the job should now be his...oh wait...they're still out of town working on other stuff. Curt can wait until they get back.

    I'm sure it's important work. Payne is convincing investors in the Middle East to buy Haine's Point so we can build a stadium and Kasper is busy identifying the next great South American Player who will decide not to come to D.C.
    I'm hoping its Riquelme. It would be fun to get my hopes up for him then squashed.

  2. This makes me incredibly sad. When Onalfo becomes coach, it will become abundantly clear that DC is an organization weakly gasping on its laurels, and doesn't plan on standing up for diehard fans.

    We are now officially one of the few consistent mid table MLS teams. REAL SALT LAKE, Goddamn it.

    The only club we are better than still? Red Bulls.

  3. "Weakly gasping on its laurels?" What does that even mean?

  4. @Goose
    I think the anonymous commenter meant to imply that United are asthmatic? ;-)