Where have you gone Denis Hamlett?

Chicago Fire v New York Red Bulls

When Denis Hamlett was let go by the Fire on November 24th of last year, my personal reaction was a bit mixed. I thought it was the right move for the Fire, but I was a bit sad to see Denis go. Though he could be pretty harsh to some journalists on the Fire beat, Denis seemed to take a liking to me (something I attribute to the fact that I'm young and seem completely non-threatening) and we became something like friends by the end of the season.

So, when the Fire chose to part ways with Hamlett on November 24th, I thought it was only natural that I reached out to him. I sent him a quick email offering my sympathy and blog space -- if he ever wanted his side of the story out, I would be more than willing to write about it -- but he never got back to me. At the time, I didn't really think anything of it.

But as the weeks have gone by -- and Hamlett has remained unemployed -- I began to think more and more about the Fire's former coach. My original question of "where will Denis end up?" changed to "will Denis land a coaching gig?" I was interested in hearing his story/status and it finally came out last night, thanks to ESPN Chicago's Charlie Corr. Corr spoke briefly with Hamlett about his coaching prospects. Denis was as illuminating as ever.

"I've got some stuff I'm working on, but I'd like to keep it on the down low for right now," Hamlett told Corr. "When it gets done, I'll be more than happy to fill you in on the details."

Solely going from that statement, I'm not so sure that Denis will end up with a coaching job in MLS this year. Maybe his reputation got the best of him this time around. Or maybe the Fire isn't alone in making the switch to a more attractive style of soccer.

Whatever the case, I hope Denis lands on his feet soon. If nothing else, he is a very loyal, hard working guy that would bring a lot of passion and soccer knowledge to any club. He might not be the best head coaching option at this point (he still has to figure out how to get along better with his players...) but I think he could be a solid assistant for a lot of teams. Maybe he's unwilling to go for that. Who really knows? Denis certainly isn't giving any info out. But if I'm running a MLS club that is in need of an assistant, I'm taking a hard look at Hamlett. Lay into me all you want on that one. I'm sticking to it.

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  • I won't lay into you on Hamlett deserving a shot as an assistant elsewhere in MLS. I'd rather lay into about the softball questions you tossed Soumare.

    Soumare's performance in his last couple of matches was well below the standard we had grown used to and I think Hamlett had a right to call him out on it. Yes, Hamlett crossed the line and paid the price for it.
    I would have liked Soumare to answer the question, "We're you satisfied with your performance in your last couple of games? If not, what contributed to your less than stellar performance?"
    If he was dragging his feet because he was upset about not getting traded, then he's lost a lot of credibility in my opinion.

  • In reply to mcnessa:

    Not saying I would have personally asked Soumare that question, but I believe the Q + A you're referring to was one in which the questions came exclusively from readers.

    In that particular instance, I didn't ask Baky any questions of my own because I didn't want to jump in on what I termed a reader Q + A. Just wanted to clear that up.

    However, I will say that if a situation like the one you outlined above arises in a future reader Q + A, I won't hesitate to ask the player/coach/whomever a question of my own. I don't really anticipate that happening often however.

  • In reply to SamuelStejskal:

    yeah, I was refering to that Q&A piece and I did pose the question. Didn't see a response.

  • In reply to mcnessa:

    Well I did send all the questions to Baky. Whether or not he responded to them was his prerogative...

    Your question was excellent though. Sorry he didn't respond.

  • In reply to mcnessa:

    DH had a very good team for 2 years and no trophies thats unacceptable. I'm happy he is gone.

  • In reply to SamuelStejskal:

    It must have been hard for D.H. to see the fire bring in Osorio when he had been around so long..I think it should have gone to him. I didnt hear him cry about it. When it was his shot he did the best he could. You're right,,he is loyal.. I hope he does well. I wish i would have got to know him alittle better. But getting to know Denis isnt an easy thing, he keeps to himself alot.

  • In reply to SamuelStejskal:

    It must have been hard for D.H. to see the fire bring in Osorio when he had been around so long..I think it should have gone to him. I didnt hear him cry about it. When it was his shot he did the best he could. You're right,,he is loyal.. I hope he does well. I wish i would have got to know him alittle better. But getting to know Denis isnt an easy thing, he keeps to himself alot.

  • In reply to SamuelStejskal:

    He would fit right into the ranks in New York as JCO's predecessor. Still, probably not happening. He does deserve a coaching job, though. He brought the team to 2 conference finals in a row.

  • In reply to patrickhattrick:

    I think its safe to say that 2 teams brought him to the conference finals. He is, and always will be, a #2. All the owners are going to see a coach that played defensively even when behind, fought with his players (literally) and was the 4th choice for a team that he was the assistant for 10+ years.

  • Still not right here!

    and that's a good thing.

  • You cant really compare him to Bobby Knight. Bobby Knight is one of the best coaches of all time.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    I think he's referring to some of his issues with his players, like that one at Indiana. I guess that makes more sense that the teams brought him. Not a great final two years, but seems like a quietly good 10 before them. It would be nice if he went Otto theCrewand punched GBS in the kisser and sent him to Chicago. That sounds like something SuperKlopas could pull off. By the way, we need a nickname for him. Any ideas?

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    I agree, he had a very very good team for two years. Zero trophies to show for it all. We are long long overdue for trophies and I think Klopas knows that. Anybody could have guided those two teams to winning seasons, it's the championships that matter here.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    Denis has always been upfront and honest with the media. It Looks to me like the problem was the management setting Denis up for a fall with their actions. I have my doubts about what the real story with Soumare is. Seems a little too convienient that a locker room situation was released to the press. I wish Denis all the best in his future! He is a great coach!

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