Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Soehn returns to MLS coaching ranks
Ridge Mahoney of Soccer America reports on Tommy Soehn's return to the MLS coaching ranks.
He was hired with the big picture in mind, but now Tom Soehn goes back to the 24/7 headache of head coaching in which any day could come disaster.
That’s a pessimistic, even fatalistic, viewpoint of course, yet the haunted, tortured demeanor that Soehn wore during his final months in charge of D.C. United bespoke of the pressure he felt as the 2009 season unraveled without a playoff appearance, just as had occurred the previous year.
In his first season, a first-round exit from the playoffs after topping the Eastern Conference with a 16-7-7 record soured a portion of the fan base, and discontent grew as United posted an 11-15-4 mark in 2008 despite winning the U.S. Open Cup. The following year, United won fewer games but accumulated more points: at 9-8-13, it finished in a three-way tie for the final playoff spot with 40 points, and lost out to eventual champion Real Salt Lake via tiebreakers.
When D.C. United dallied regarding a contract extension, Soehn removed himself from the process, and in January, 2010, took a role as director of soccer operations with Vancouver, which still had a season of second-division soccer ahead before it could join MLS. Whether or not team management has also hired him as a backup plan in case a coaching change was needed, that’s the job he has now, at least temporarily.
The Soehn Era starts Wednesday night at Home Depot Center against Chivas USA, which is in its own makeover mode. After a six-win season, management cut loose one former MLS defender, Martin Vasquez, and replaced him with another, the urbane and polished Robin Fraser, who when hired in January mentioned that converting a bad team into a good one is a 24/7 commitment until considerable progress is made.
Posted by Mike Jacobs at 2:26 PM