It's been a couple of days since Orlando City announced the hiring of former Benfica executive and academy director Armando Carneiro joining the club as its Chief Soccer Officer, and still many, like myself, are wondering what this move means for the future of the club.
While this hiring certainly signals big things for the club moving forward, it could also mean more significant changes are on the horizon for Orlando City's front office.
As Chief Soccer Officer (fancy title, no?), Carneiro will oversee Orlando City, Orlando City B and the newly formed NWSL club, Orlando Pride. This means that General Manager Paul McDonough will now report to Carneiro when it comes to his daily duties, which currently involve setting up scouting networks and working with club coaches to build their teams.
It's almost like a demotion for the guy that's been on the job for almost two years (he was hired in Jan. 2014, as the club's VP of Soccer to help the Lions begin their transition to MLS).
And since the announcement of the hiring, it has been easy to ponder whether or not this could signal the end of McDonough's tenure in Orlando. Who knows how long he wants to work under someone like Carneiro, who has no prior experience working in MLS.
Should he decide to leave Orlando City, he'll be a man in high demand. McDonough coached at several well-regarded college programs, including Wake Forest, UConn, and the University of South Carolina in his career, and was the director of global soccer at the Wasserman Media Group before joining Orlando City.
In fact, Goal.com's Ives Galarcep is already reporting that "other MLS clubs have already begun to making inquiries about McDonough's potential availability" should he decide to leave Orlando City. And that's a loss that the Lions, this early into their MLS existence, might not be able to handle.
McDonough, in his short tenure, has helped set up Orlando City to be a very successful MLS club in the very near future, lending his hand in finding and signing players such as Rafael Ramos, Cyle Larin, Carlos Rivas, Cristian Higuita and Bryan Róchez.
As Galarcep pointed out, Orlando City president Phil Rawlins said that the Lions don't just want to be an MLS power, but a world power. And don't get me wrong, this hire certainly suggests the club is heading down that route, but the timing and nature of the hire is what leaves me kind of puzzled, and could actually do more harm than good in the short term, moving forward.