Ives Galarcep's column over at Soccernet touches on an interesting subject. Whatever happened to Octavio Zambrano? If you had asked me this last week, especially after I've had 3 beers, I would've kept a straight face and told you he was coaching in Moldova. I would've been trying to pull your leg but I joke around a lot about Moldova lately. Just the other day I was saying I wish some team in Moldova would come up with some cash and buy Jovan Kirovski from the Colorado Rapids. Funny enough that is where Zambrano is these days. Apparently he's coaching at Tiligul in the Moldovan First Division.
I'm not a fan of a league constantly turning to the same coaches over and over and over again. Brazil is a good example of this. It's one of the reasons their domestic league is a mess. They produce great players but that's in spite of the obstacles they face. They're a huge country that is mad about soccer.
The MLS has only been around for 11 years. I can't say that their teams have been turning to the same coaches over and over and again. But they've been flirting with it. Reading about Zambrano reminded me of that. Last year their were 2 expansion teams. Chivas USA chose to sign Thomas Rongen. Rongen had been with a couple clubs already. Worse, you could look at his tenure at DC United and see how he literally turned the best team into the league, at that it's most storied franchise in it's short life, into the worst team in the league. Why did they choose Rongen over a successful coach like Zambrano? It could just be a bad choice. But this isn't the the first time Zambrano had been ignored by teams in the league. Colorado chose Fernando Clavijo. This is a guy who as an assistant at NY during their worst ever season and had been fired by New England after having mediocre results.
Zambrano isn't superman. And a team choosing him again would add to the league seeming to inch toward recycling the same old coaches. But one does have to wonder how some of the coaches that have gotten jobs recently got theirs over Zambrano.
I mentioned before a comment by Real Salt Lake head coach John Ellinger made a comment about his team not having big enough balls.
Apparently he made this comment the last time DC United and Real Salt Lake met at RES in Salt Lake City.
Salt Lake coach John Ellinger was cited by the league for comments he made to the sideline official after United scored the opening goal.
It was reported that Ellinger told the official, "I don't know what [United president] Kevin Payne has on you guys. ... It must be dirty pictures."
He was fined by the league for this. As far as we know Checketts didn't do anything about either of these non-friendly comments.
Culture of Excuses?
Also note the article went on to point out something that I've mentioned before. They mention the pre-season incident where Ellinger & Co. accused DC United's coach Peter Nowak of making a racist comment during a pre-season match. In reference to this incident the Washington Times says “The controversy has become a trend for Real Salt Lake this year. “ Real Salt Lake is looking more and more like they very well may have a culture of excuses. The team fell apart as their inaugural season going on. It's not just that they closed out the season 0-10-1. They just weren't playing as well as they had earlier in the season. They weren't exactly playing great earlier in the season, either. That was written off as them being an expansion team. That Ellinger made a bunch of poor draft picks and mid-season player changes was written off as Ellinger being a rookie head coach. But then there was the “hospital” incident, Williams allegation and now this. At some point one has to wonder if the organization is more concerned with excuses than results.