Happy Thursday, y’all. Good news, the USMNT didn’t get blown out last night. We’re grasping at straws here. There’s not a lot of good going on in the soccer world if you’re an Orlando City or USMNT fan. So, we’ll take what we can get. Let’s get to some links.
Inchy to Minnesota?
All signs are pointing to Adrian Heath becoming the first head coach for Minnesota United next season. Heath, of course, brought Orlando City into the MLS and nearly got them into the playoffs in their first year. Then, in his second season, he was unceremoniously fired and essentially labeled a good minor league coach. I’m hoping he and Minnesota United take the league by storm next year and shove it down ownerships’ throats. Heath is a bargain for any team that hires him and an absolute gem for the media.
Heath will reportedly be joined by former D.C. United assistant coach Amos Magee.
Questionable comeback player of the year
Chris Pontius was selected as the MLS Comeback Player of the year.
Pontius beat out Frank Lampard and Orlando City’s Kevin Molino. Pontius did have 12 goals and six assists this season coming off hamstring surgery in 2014. He actually played 23 games last year, which makes this award as a comeback a bit confusing.
Molino missed essentially all of last season to a torn ACL and came back to score 11 goals and get 11 assists. He made an actual comeback. Pontius didn’t come back. He just didn’t play as poorly as he did last season.
Awards are stupid.
OC Academy keeps rolling
We wrote about the Academy last week, and the youngsters in purple continued to roll this past weekend.
OC Academy went 4-0 this weekend between the U-17/18s and the U-15/16s. The U-17/18s improved to 10-1-0 this season and took sole possession of first place in the Southeast Division with two wins in North Carolina.
To fire or not to fire Klinsmann?
It’s about time for Jurgen Klinsmann to go. And, as the Washington Post’s Steven Goff points out, now is the perfect time to make the move if U.S. Soccer is ever going to do so.
With four months before the next set of World Cup qualifiers, the USMNT would have the chance to get acclimated to a new coach and recover from the disastrous set of qualifiers they just had against Mexico and Costa Rica.
However, the possibility they don’t fire Klinsmann still remains.
The road to Russia 2018 is long and forgiving, with three CONCACAF teams assured of berths and another of a special playoff next fall. The Americans do have eight games left, but after defeats to Mexico and Costa Rica, the margin of error has narrowed, and additional missteps against Honduras and Panama in late March would exacerbate the situation and imperil the campaign.
The USSF is not an impetuous organization. Unlike many federations around the world, it doesn’t fire coaches on a whim. Since late 1998, Mexico has burned through 15; the USSF has had three. The USSF hasn’t changed coaches in the middle of a World Cup qualifying campaign since 1989.
I think we’ve all seen that Klinsmann is not the man to take the U.S. to the level the USSF hopes. Bringing in some new blood would be a welcomed change.
Of course, the problem, there’s likely not a coach that exists who could take this team to the heights expected of them.
There’s your links. Until next week, folks. You stay classy, Orlando.