By KEVIN KOCZWARA
Alessandro Nesta’s 20-year career came to an end on Thursday after the Montreal Impact defender announced his retirement. And, despite rumors that circulated earlier this week, he won’t be leading the Impact next year as the team’s coach.
Instead, the legendary defender will head to Miami to enjoy the sun, to study and to learn.
“I never spoke with the club to be the new coach. I didn’t ask the club to be the next coach,” Nesta told reporters on Thursday. “Those rumors are nothing. Nothing. There’s a coach, a second coach and so on.
“Now, I’ll go on vacation. I don’t know for how many months. I’ll go to Miami, to live there, and that’s it. Finished. Finished for maybe one year, to stay at home, study and see what I can learn. After, maybe I’ll try to coach. I don’t know where, but I’ll try for sure.”
Last Tuesday, Impact manager Joey Saputo denied the reports that the recently retired Nesta would become the Impact’s next manager as well. In a year-and-a-half with the Impact, Nesta played in 31 games, recording no goals and one assist. Nesta in the past has mentioned his desire to go into coaching, but it seems that he wants some time away from the game before he returns.
Here are some more notes from around MLS:
U.S. U-17 HEAD COACH WILLIAMS INTERVIEWS FOR WHITECAPS JOB
According to reports in Vancouver, Richie Williams, the U.S. Under-17 national team coach, was in British Columbia on Thursday for an interview with the Whitecaps over their vacant head coaching position.
Williams won the MLS Cup three times while the D.C. United, who he played for six years. He was capped 20 times by the U.S. Men’s National Team and won a gold medal in the 2002 CONCACAF Gold Cup. He previously worked as a coach with the New York Red Bulls before joining the U.S. youth setup. Williams had a 6-6-4 record in two stints as an interim head coach for the Red Bulls.
The Whitecaps are in the hunt for a new coach after deciding not for renew Martin Rennie’ contract, which expired at the end of this season. Frank Yallop was supposedly the team’s first-choice for their new manager, but he took the open position in Chicago already. Assistant coach Carl Robinson is also believed to be a candidate.
OMAR SALGADO WANTS OFFSEASON TRAINING
Injuries to the right foot of U.S. youth international Omar Salgado has held his development hostage the past two years.
The 20-year-old forward has made just one appearance for the Vancouver Whitecaps since May 2012, and now that he’s finally back on the field he wants to get back to speed and playing again. And he doesn’t want to wait for next season.
“I don’t want to stop again,” Salgado said last week. “Hopefully I can get a little training stint somewhere for sure, three or four weeks more. “It wasn’t much of a season for me. I learned other things off the field — patience, mostly — but it’s a year lost developing as a soccer player, so I have to work hard to get that back,” he continued.
Salgado has trained with Everton and Fulham of the English Premier League in the past. According to a report, Salgado’s agent and the Whitecaps front office are ready to talk about an off-season plan for the player. The good news for Whitecaps fans regarding the team’s first-overall pick in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft, Salgado finally feels healthy again and isn’t afraid of his injury.
“This time I just feel stronger. I feel like it won’t break again. I don’t think about it when I’m on the field,” he said. “I still feel like next year could be my year, hopefully. I think I can make a big difference in the team.”
FRANK YALLOP SETTING UP HIS STAFF
Frank Yallop has a lot on his plate as the Chicago Fire’s new coach and Director of Soccer.
The two-time MLS Cup winning coach has to start by setting his staff in order after the club parted ways with assistant coaches Mike Matkovich and Leo Percovich and Goalkeeping Coach Aron Hyde — Strength & Conditioning Coach Tony Jouaux was the only member of Frank Klopas’ staff to keep his position with the Fire.
“There are quite a few positions to get filled,” Yallop told reporters on Thursday. “There are going to be two assistants for sure, maybe three with a bit of a different role – perhaps a scouting role. There will be a technical director or someone to help me out with all the paperwork and all the things that the league demands because I want to be on the field, which is my job.”
Yallop told reporters he expects to have the positions filled in two or three weeks and is looking at candidates with MLS experience. Last season’s MLS Coach of the Year also stressed that he will oversee which players the club brings in and which they let leave.
What do you think of these reports? Do you expect Nesta to coach in MLS someday? Do you see Williams receiving a head coaching job in the league this season? Do you believe that Salgado can return to 100 percent fitness this winter?
Share your thoughts below.