When the Fire decided not to renew the contract of former Head Coach Denis Hamlett last week, thoughts immediately went to where exactly the Fire would get their next head man.
The possibilities seemed to be pretty numerous, with several high profile MLS assistants and former/current head coaches coming to mind right off the bat. Tom Soehn, Richie Williams, Curt Onalfo and Martin Vasquez were some of the more experienced names being thrown around with Chris Armas's and Jesse Marsch's (even though he's still under contract as a player at Chivas USA...) names getting tossed into the rumor ring as potential dark horse candidates.
But after analyzing the situation a little further, it looked as if all of the candidates mentioned above were lacking a certain something. The men who were rumored to be possible candidates for selection either failed in their latest MLS gig (Soehn, Onalfo), have no head coaching experience (Vasquez, Armas, Marsch), or are likely to take over at another club (Williams, that is if Red Bull wises up and offers him the job...).
But -- outside of the aforementioned names -- where else can the Fire turn to find their next head coach?
In a word, Europe.
It's pretty well known that Fire Technical Director Frank Klopas has good connections across the Atlantic (he did play in Greece for 6 years) and I honestly would not be that surprised if the Fire elected to hire a European to take charge at Toyota Park.
Now, with the hiring of a European coach comes the inevitable concerns that he will not do well adjusting to the style of play in MLS and that he'll struggle to work the league's unique methods of player acquisition. And while those are legitimate concerns, I think that if the Technical Director can lead the way on the player acquisition front, hiring a coach with experience in only the European game wouldn't be a problem.
Granted, some European coaches in MLS have been massive failures (here's looking at you Ruud Gullit...) but any coach that isn't a complete buffoon should be able to adjust to MLS's style of play without having too many problems.
I think that as long as the Fire do a thorough job of interviewing all possible candidates (i.e. making sure they will be able to adapt to the intricacies of the league) that hiring a European candidate wouldn't be a mistake -- and could very well be a good thing for the club.
After all, we know what the MLS based candidates have to offer and -- honestly -- it doesn't really excite me. Because of that (and the fact that I believe that the right man -- no matter where he is from -- can adjust to MLS's style of play) I think that the Fire would be well served to go abroad in their search for a new head coach.
And with all of that said, I'll leave you with a poll question and let you have your say. Take it away...