Photo by ISIphotos.com
In a move that will surely come as a shock in MLS circles, highly-regarded University of Akron head coach Caleb Porter has turned down the job as D.C. United head coach after being offered the position just a day after Akron lost in the NCAA College Cup Final to Virginia in penalty kicks.
Multiple sources told SBI on Tuesday evening that D.C. United offered Porter the job on Monday, and after some soul-searching, Porter decided to stay with Akron. The University issued a press release announcing that it had signed Porter to a new five-year contract on late Tuesday.
"After reaching the pinnacle of college soccer this season, my vision will be to sustain the program for long-term success as one of the nation's elite programs," Porter said in the Akron statement. "This an exciting time for Akron Soccer and with upgrades to the facility on the horizon I am confident we have all the resources necessary to continue competing for national championships for many years to come."
So why did Porter pass on D.C. United?
Sources have told SBI that Porter had some reservations about making the jump from college to MLS at this point in his career (Porter turns 35 in February). There was also the desire to stay with Akron, a team he built from small team to national power, and make another run at an NCAA title after finishing this year undefeated before losing in penalties in the championship match. With most of the team's nucleus expected back, Akron would likely be considered a title favorite in 2010.
Where will D.C. United turn to next? Former Kansas City head coach and D.C. United assistant Curt Onalfo had been considered the most likely choice if Porter were not named head coach, but the search may be extended after D.C. missed out on its top target.
What do you think of this development? Surprised? Glad to see a coach stick by his school, or do you think Porter is making a mistake? Who do you see D.C. hiring next?
Share your thoughts below.