D.C. United in scramble mode as coaching search stalls

John Spencer 1 (ISIphotos.com) Frank Yallop (ISIphotos.com) 

Photo by ISIphotos.com

Just a day after having Akron head coach Caleb Porter turn down the job, D.C. United has now missed on two other potential candidates for the position.

D.C. United was turned down by the San Jose Earthquakes after requesting permission to speak to head coach Frank Yallop about the D.C. United post, sources told SBI on Wednesday. Sources in Houston also confirmed that D.C. sought and received permission to speak to Dynamo assistant coach John Spencer, only to have Spencer pass on the opportunity.

San Jose general manager John Doyle confirmed that the Earthquakes had turned down D.C. United's request to speak to Yallop, citing the club's happiness with its head coach.

"We value Frank as a head coach and as an expansion team while things haven't started out smoothly, we certainly don't put that all on Frank," Doyle said of Yallop. "Frank is a great coach in the league and we're happy with him."

Yallop has some brief experience with D.C. United, having been an assistant with D.C. United under former head coach Thomas Rongen in 2000. He just completed his second season as head coach of the San Jose Earthquakes.

Spencer is one of the most highly-regarded assistant coaches in the league, and a logical candidate, but sources tell SBI that part of the reason he chose to stay in Houston was due to a settled family situation. Sources have also suggested that Spencer is a serious candidate for the head coaching job with the expansion Portland team, which is expected to hire a coach by this summer.

Where that leaves D.C. now is anybody's guess, but it certainly paints the picture of a club scrambling for a coach after seeing its top choice turn down the job. Former Kansas City head coach Curt Onalfo had been believed to be the most likely choice to be hired if Porter didn't become D.C. head coach, but the club's attempts to lure Yallop and Spencer look like signs of a club that is unhappy with its present options.

What do you think of these developments? Surprised to see D.C. take a shot at Yallop? Think Spencer would have been a good fit in D.C.? Starting to think it is inevitable that Ben Olsen will be the team's next head coach?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in MLS- D.C. United, MLS- Houston Dynamo, MLS- San Jose Earthquakes. Bookmark the permalink.

58 Responses to D.C. United in scramble mode as coaching search stalls

  1. aristotle says:

    That’s weird! Hasn’t Spencer been seeking an MLS head coaching job for a long time? DC United isn’t good enough? Maybe it’s the location, but can he afford to be that picky?

  2. casadelqueso says:

    Why not just hire Richie Williams already?

  3. aristotle says:

    I’ll consider the DC position.

  4. aristotle says:

    That’s right. He’s a good choice.

  5. Citronomics says:

    Ray Hudson sick of GOL TV commentary… maybe a second stint will help DCU better “express” themselves on the field Seriously, what about Hamlett (or did he get another gig already)?

  6. facundo Lopez says:

    It looks like DCU has burned all their bridges!

  7. No brainer says:

    Yes, he can afford to be as picky as he wants. Why do you think he should jump at the first job he’s offered? That’s a serious way to ruin a promising coaching career.

  8. Jeff T. says:

    DC United is so screwed!

    Keep up the beat, Ives.

    Goff is on vacation.

    (Picked a fine time for that!)

  9. Michael F. says:

    At DC TRIED to hire someone. RBNY hasn’t done a thing….

  10. redskinsux says:

    Does anyone know the status of Bruce Arena in LA? Could DC make him a lucrative offer to lure him back over?

  11. Jeff T. says:

    Who says he even wants the job, if you know what I mean.

  12. Lorenzo says:

    Claudio Reyna, Ben Olsen, Kiki Willis (hehe)

  13. Freddy Adu for coach? :) Maybe then he’d find the pitch!

  14. Lorenzo says:

    could the u-20’s be spared and just give Thomas Rongen back to them…

  15. vasco says:

    i hear vasco is available

  16. jspot says:

    No one wants to be Ben Olsen’s Teacher… This job has no future with Ben Olsen as back up. One year for him to learn the ropes then moved up to be the boss man.

    F! How is DC not a job MLSers arn’t fighting for…

  17. Jason says:

    No one wants Williams. Chicago, DC, and NY have all passed on him.

  18. JoeW says:

    Interesting. This implies that they were never really serious about Onalfo. Or…that b/c Onalfo is in the running for a couple of front-office jobs that he was not willing to make a decision right now.

    Also, I’m not trying to “spin” this but realistically, the report doesn’t say that the team was willing to offer the position to either coach, only that they wanted to talk with them and SJ refused to let them talk to Yallop and Spencer wasn’t interested in talking to anyone at this point. For instance, I’m sure DCU is interested in talking to Arena but the LAG would say NFW and deny that request.

  19. DCAustinite says:

    bring back Rongen. He played attacking soccer and suffered from being the first coach to have a bad season. Two seasons, one title. really, that’s no reason to be fired.

  20. Fireman451 says:

    Look at all the looks Denis Hamlett is getting from the league . . . amazing considering some here think he was a good coach that was shafted. ;D

  21. redskinsux says:


    Do you know if Arena’s contract has been extended? If so, for how long? Any information on the terms of his contract? Anyone?

  22. Doug Logan says:

    Juan Carlos Osorio & Steve Sampson are still available…

  23. Nick_C says:

    the status? really?! he just took the team from worst to first in the west, and you think there’s even the smallest chance he’s leaving?

  24. dantheblue says:

    cobi jones?

  25. Justin M. says:

    I hope DC is able to find a Diamond in the rough. It’s tough to see a rejuvenated young team go through this. Maybe there’s no better time though. I just don’t want to see such a legendary club fall by the wayside due to a lousy coach.

  26. Mike Caramba says:


    What ever happened to YWTC? Despite my horrific success rate, I thoroughly enjoyed those posts.

  27. Shmenge says:

    John Ellinger…if Dallas will let him talk.

    Seriously, though, a phone should be ringing in Bolivia at the moment. At the very least, Marco could get the fans excited and is about the only feasible move (other than a shock Olsen appointment) that would generate positive reaction at this point.

  28. Nutmegger says:

    Bruce may not be available, but Kenny might be.


  29. MBBeachbum says:

    Ellinger does have ties to the area as a former DOC at SAC.

  30. fischy says:

    Give it up, dude…You’re in a fantasy world where Arena would prefer United to the Galaxy….His status is that he’s thrilled with the job he has. Unless some team in the EPL comes calling, he’s staying put.

  31. Tradition is serving DC United well it seems.

  32. C-note says:

    *the silence of DH’s phone not ringing*

  33. Lorenzo says:

    John Harkes. I would just feel bad for whoever on that roster became his comment-whipping boy like he does to Dempsey on the MNT, or whoever else he singles out in a game.

  34. Josh says:

    Rongen, Williams, Onalfo, Clavijo, Hudson… none of these excite me… but neither did Porter…. Ben is even younger than him… give Marco a call, or run the risk of Soehn coming back!

  35. Beckster says:

    As much as I think the world of Ben Olsen but he is a 2nd assistant at best. I don’t think the club would hire him as the top guy. Any new coach could bring their top assistant with them. I am surprised that Ritchie Williams hasn’t gotten the job but enough is enough…just hire Onalfo. He is fine. He has roots there. Let’s just get on with it.

  36. Todd says:

    JOSE PEKERMAN!!!!!!!!!

  37. cvs says:

    um, you must be a Red Bulls fan. Rongen has done enough detestation with our youth. No need to bring him back to MLS.

  38. patrick says:

    grant wahl reporting donovan’s deal 4 years, 9 million

  39. Josh D. says:

    At this point I just want us to have a coach. There are plenty of up and coming NCAA coaches. I just hate to think of getting another MLS reject or someone not willing to try something new.

    Europe has already lost a few decent coaches. I’m sure someone out there would find the job interesting. A decent mix of youth now and a horrible mix of oldies.

  40. Left at the altar says:

    How long have Chad Ashton and Mark Simpson been there? Are they not qualified assistants who could become the head coach? Gotta suck to be them watching guys turn down this job as they sit and wait to find out their fate.

  41. Andrew says:

    As long as DC United continues to be one of the few teams in MLS to play attractive soccer, I don’t care who the coach is.

  42. steve healy says:

    what is with spencer he turned down my chicago fire and now dc united i have to question if he has the guts to become the head coach anywhere

  43. kfly says:

    Why didn’t we ever seriously pursue that guy from RSL? I know Chicago is in talks with him, but it certainly couldn’t hurt. Heck, maybe he’d even fall in love with the organization (yes, that was a joke).

  44. Second place goes to....... says:

    Would you want to be a DCU’s second choice? Can’t say that would make you feel like you are well supported by management when you get the panic call after someone else turns it down. If they thought you were good enough for the job they would have called you the first time the job was open.

  45. RK says:


  46. word yo says:

    juan carlos osorio is actually coaching in columbia.

  47. aristotle says:

    Why do you think Spencer is a bad coach?

  48. C. says:

    It wasn’t the first job he was offered. He passed on Chicago too. I think it’s strange. Does this guy ever wanna be a head coach? These are quality teams he’s turned down. Maybe he just doesn’t have the confidence.

  49. john says:

    I got this from an inside source who was considered for the DC job.

    Noone wants to work for Payne because he is an egomaniac and thinks he is a Soccer savior……….

    Tough guy to work for.

  50. Curt Onalfo says:

    The club “is unhappy with it’s current options”? Ouch, that’s hurts, man. They must not want exciting, attacking soccer in DC.

  51. anon says:

    Claudio Reyna anyone? John O’Brien? Earnie Stewart? Gulp….Eric Wynalda?

  52. Now that Klinsi has moved his family back to Cali, think a commute to either DC or RBNY is in order?

  53. Will says:

    he’s been my #1 from the beginning…

  54. Will says:

    Hidetoshi Nakata

  55. Tim says:

    Is there any coaches from USL that deserve a shot at MLS?

  56. JavaLavaJoe says:

    I love this!

  57. JavaLavaJoe says:

    Love of God…hire Richie Williams already!