The Next FC Cincinnati Manager Will Be . . .
Probably not Landon Donovan. But wouldn’t that be wild? Cincinnati soccer fans who are fans of FCC, Manchester United, and the USMNT can watch, we can only assume through their fingers on their face, their former legends risk their reputations in Cincinnati.
No, it’s not likely to be Landon Donovan, but there’s really no reason to rule him out. Former great players turn out to be great managers all the time in soccer. In fact it’s rare to find a top level manager who didn’t have top level playing experience. And by all accounts, Donovan has done a great job in San Diego with the Loyal. FC Cincinnati’s new General Manager Chris Albright was a teammate with Donovan for a number of years as well. I’d be surprised if a few texts haven’t been exchanged at least.
But no, tweeting out the classic “eyes emojis” isn’t anymore more than The Post having fun with a tiny bit of otherwise irrelevant news. But it’s also the first time we’ve had to explain a joke so that’s both good for the “journalism” side of The Post but bad for the “we made this thing for funnies” side of The Post. We’ll probably need Jonah to post another free-form poem to maintain the balance.
But what do we want with an FC Cincinnati manager? I don’t know what “we” want but I know what I want: experience and competency. A lot, and I mean a lot, of people are assuming Pat Noonan is going to be the next manager of The Gary’s. It’s a fair assumption, makes a lot of sense. He’s a long time assistant manager and youth team coach who is “in waiting” in Philly where Chris Albright just came from. It would be a simple plug-and-play move from Albright and MLS/US Soccer media would applaud the smart choice because they all seem to like Noonan as a person.
But his resume is nearly identical to Tyrone Marshall’s. And, uhhh, does anyone want to make the case for giving the job to Marshall? I’m not saying he’s done a poor job, quite the opposite in fact. But he isn’t blowing anyone away is he. And FCC has already said he isn’t going to be considered for the first team job (which, was a tactical mistake to make that public).
We don’t have time to wait for a manager to learn on the job. Noonan, Marshall, Donovan, they’re all in this boat. They’ll be finding their sea legs while The FC’s fanbase continues to shrink. It’s just not worth the risk.
What is worth the risk, is an MLS staple who can do a, hopefully, competent job while Albright continues to bring in good pieces to the team. And by this I mean we should go out and sign Gary Smith. Not actually Gary Smith, I doubt he’d want to leave Nashville and I doubt Nashville would let him leave. But an MLS manager who won a dubious title (or two!), otherwise flamed out for a few different teams, and you know will do an OK job?
That’s Dom Kinnear, baby.
Is he the sexiest pick out there? That’s between you and your legs. But you can’t argue against him being a bang-on average MLS manager. And in MLS, being average means getting in the playoffs. And being in the playoffs means whoever has the best DPs win. And with FCC’s money… That’s not impossible.
Experience as a first team MLS manager, with some success, despite other failures, is what I’m looking for in the next manager. They could be a manager currently out of a job or, maybe, someone with a contract expiring soon and looks exactly like Jim Curtain and is named “Jim Curtain”, and currently coaches the Philadelphia Union? Maybe they find someone like that to poach. But until then, let me cast my absolutely worthless vote for Kinnear and let’s hope in the few months I don’t regret writing this.