The Crew not have the game this week and the players given a holiday, but that doesn't mean that it was quiet around the team. The news started popping up around the team's coaching search.
It's been clear from the start that Brian Bliss is a candidate. He's said it and the team said it. He's gone 4-2-0 in his six games in charge so far, averaging a very respectable two points per game.
The team has been tight lipped beyond the obvious candidate. Guillermo Barros Schelotto is in the mix. He's one of the best players to put on the black and gold kit and has transitioned well into management with Lanus in Argentina. Schelotto has made no secret he wants to come back to America.
The quotes in a recent article by FutbolMLS.com's Emmanuel Quispe supposedly downplayed the possibility.
Yes, I know about the opening after [Robert] Warzycha left. The truth is I have nothing to say. I am happy at Lanús and I have a contract until June 2014. Obviously, in the future, of course I would like to return to MLS. But in this moment, the only thing I'm thinking of is Lanús.
Schelotto isn't going to say in an interview with media that he wants to jump ship and head to the Crew. He states a just the facts. He's happy at Lanus and under contract until 2014. Because of that there is nothing to say. Surely the Schelotto and the Crew know either side's level of interest, but it won't make print.
Another interesting candidate surfaced this week as Grant Wahl reported that former Crew goalkeeper Brad Friedel is interested in the position and has interview. Friedel currently plays for Tottenham Hotspur and was in Columbus during the September international break. He's getting his coaching badges and wants to manage after he retires. The English season runs until late May but Friedel could follow the example of Ryan Nelsen who retired from Queens Park Rangers in January and moved directly into coaching with Toronto FC.
While the team has been quiet, the Dispatch did report that John Harkes, Todd Yeagley, and Robin Fraser are on the list as well, but haven't been interviewed. Harkes has limited coaching experience beyond two years as an assistant on Bruce Arena's New York Red Bulls staff in 2006 and 2007. He recently told MLSSoccer.com that he was looking to get back into coaching.
Yeagley is a former Crew player who has been a college coach since 2003. He assisted at Indiana University from 2003 to 2009 before moving to take the head coaching position at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He returned to Indiana University later in 2009 as the head coach.
Fraser is familiar with the rigors of coaching in MLS. He was the top assistant to Jason Kreis in Real Salt Lake from 2007 until 2010 when he took over the top job with Chivas USA in 2011. Fraser struggled with the underperforming organization. He compiled 15 wins, 32 losses, and 21 ties in two seasons with the Goats. Mike Petke brought him on to his New York Red Bulls staff as an assistant this year.
It certainly appears that the Crew is taking their time in identifying candidates and lining them up as options. There are only two weeks left in the season and the team appears to prefer to conduct the search after the season is over. Bliss will helm the team for a home and home matchup with the New England Revolution to close out the season and the search begins in earnest.