MLS- Colorado Rapids

Who should Colorado hire as head coach?

Oscar Pareja (ISIPhotos.com) Denis Hamlett (ISIPhotos.com)
Richie Williams (ISIPhotos.com) Tom Soehn (ISIPhotos.com)

The last remaining head coaching vacancy in Major League Soccer sits in Colorado, where the Rapids are expected to make a decision on their replacement for Gary Smith this week.

Four candidates have emerged as Colorado's leading contenders. Denis Hamlett, Oscar Pareja, Tom Soehn and Richie Williams are the four men sources have told SBi are the finalists for the job. There were rumors of former Portland assistant Trevor James being in the mix, but sources have told SBI that James is not a candidate.

Four coaches, two with head coaching experience (three if you count Williams' two stints as interim head coach in New York), and Pareja, a highly-regarded assistant who some think just might be the surprise favorite for the job.

While we wait for word on just who Colorado will settle on, here's a question for SBI readers. Who should the Rapids hire? Should it be Hamlett, an original Colorado Rapids player who did well in his time as Fire head coach, or should it be Williams, who was widely-regarded as one of the best assistant coaches in MLS before being abruptly fired by the Red Bulls a year ago? Will former D.C. United and Vancouver head coach Soehn get a team to run, or will Pareja be picked?

Who would you pick? Cast your vote after the jump:

Who did you vote for and why? Think Hamlett deserves the nod, or would you like to see Williams have a chance to run his own team?

Share your thoughts below.

  • MLS Fan

    Denis Hamlett should get a shot, he was pretty good with Chicago Fire only PKs away from an MLS cup.. Would like to see him coach again, either him or Ritchie Williams who never seems to get an MLS coaching job even though everyone seems to consider him.


  • Aquaman

    What would happen with Richie Williams’ head coaching position with the US U-18 team if he does become the Colorado head coach? Would he pull double duty just like Caleb Porter?


  • Tim

    Why doesn’t someone do an in depth piece on why Richie Williams really got the boot from RBNY and the reasons why he’s been pretty much ignored by the entire soccer community for so long since?

    (SBI-What exactly do you mean by “ignored”? He was fired before the start of the 2011 season, when MLS teams were already settled on coaching staffs, and he did work for U.S. Soccer before being hired as U.S. Under-18 head coach in September. At what point was he “ignored”?

    As for an in-depth piece on why he was fired, it’s safe to say legal issues will keep that under wraps. New York isn’t talking about that, and neither is Williams (which makes it very likely he already reached a settlement with New York over how he was fired). There were rumors about Williams and Des McAleenen being fired for being late to meetings and partying too much, but there is also a belief that the Red Bulls floated those rumors to soften the PR blow for firing them. Considering how bad a year New York had, it’s tough not to think that the departure of both those coaches hurt the team considerably.)


  • jgsm1tty

    TOMMY SOEHN!! Please, for the love of God, hire this stiff and get him out of Vancouver already!


  • Tommy Mac

    Agree. And look at how the red bulls did without him…Soler and backe and the players were lost. Richie has a track record of winning at every level. Nobody knows the young talent better either, part of reason he was picked to head the u-18 national side. Should be a no-brainer for any MLS team I would think.


  • chris

    Someone that will try to play attacking soccer, will play promising talent and not sign overage douchebags because they have “experience”.


  • Tommy Mac

    I would say Richie being picked by Klinsy/Reyna & Co. to head u-18s speaks volumes about his reputation and abilities. Also heard he was on short list for several of the other MLS head openings. Fact that New England owners picked a low-cost but completely inexperienced candidate – as much as I liked Heaps as a player – shows you how hard the process can be.


  • Peretz48

    I think Williams finally deserves a shot, but Hamlett strikes me as the right fit in Colorado, so I went with him. Pareja is the out of the box choice, but I don’t think the Rapids have the mentality to do that. Soehn brings up the rear, IMHO


  • tom traubert

    I say Williams, because as an FCD fan losing Pareja would kill us. He has been key to getting and keeping our South Americans. Plus I think he is heir apparent to Shellas. And a true great guy locally.


  • Thelosthooligan

    Out of those four? Williams.

    Having someone who is on the radar of the USMNT system is a good thing, I believe, as I like the direction in which Klinsmann wants to take the system. Someone who is on board with that program is just the kind of person we’d like to see in Colorado.

    I thought Dooley would have been a good choice as well, but we’ve gone back and forth on this. If he’s not in the running, then I would pick Williams.


  • Rlw2020

    They all have good qualities; except soehen cant see why colorado should pick up a coach who has been axed by dc and vancouver back to back. Hamlet or pareja would be great but the fact that williams is available is intreaging… He could be big for guys like wynne, moor, wallace and larentowitz that are on the outer edge of the usa player pool.

    The biggest thing that we need in colorado is someone who will improve our youth system and ease some homegrown players into full team. Williams might be that, as could the other 2. Just hope it happens soon..


  • Chuck

    PREKI – a coach who can immediately walk in and continue to play Colorado’s dire punt and run direct flat back style of football.


  • FrancoS

    I remember reading that in the list of candidates there was the British Terry Fenwick, who was coaching in Trinidad until 2010.
    It would be an interesting option together with the right assistant to help him through the specifics of MLS.
    I’m kind of tired to see always the same names. And Soehn… poor Vancouver…


  • Jason

    The only time Terry Fenwick’s name came up was a rumor from the regularly wrong mlsrumors.net. He’s never been mentioned as a candidate anywhere else.


  • abc

    I hope Pareja and Williams don’t get it, because I like where they are now. I’m sure Whitecaps fans would be happy to let them have Soehn.


  • SP

    Come on SBI, we know that Williams was fired because he wasn’t Euro enough for Backe and Soler. There has got to be a story there somewhere.


  • The Imperative Voice

    None of the above, but the whole public humiliation with the Bravo power battle probably limits their choices. Would you sign on to a spot with built in conflict?

    Unless Bravo was the real brains behind the championship team this whole situation is beyond stupid. You don’t win a title and then run the coach out of town not so much for lack of performance (Colorado was pretty good without Kandji for months, and might have been better if the organization was stable) as for how he gets along with what should be a subordinate — the DT.

    I am not surprised it’s this modest list but it may reflect those willing to put up with a worrisome situation.


  • 99

    I voted for soen just because it’s colorado. I would like to see Williams and Pareja be with a more positive organization.


  • abc

    There was no brains behind the championship team, they were a mediocre team that got a bit hot in the playoffs and had some luck. Same goes for the RSL championship team, but they had brains as well, it just wasn’t the reason for their win. Not saying there are no brains in Colorado, the jury is still out on that one.


  • galloway84

    NO to Hamlett. In 2008 and 2009, Hamlett’s Fire were the heavy favorites to win the MLS Cup Championship and he failed. He had run-in’s with Tomasz Frankowski and Bakary Soumare. He had Rolfe playing the wing and Blanco on top even though Rolfe is goal scorer and Blanco wasn’t fast enough to play forward. Hamlett botched up the 2009 Eastern Conference Finals by taking Rolfe and Pappa out along with unsteady lineup in the shootout.


  • RB

    More luck was the reason for RSL’s win: finished lower in the regular season (even below .500), squeaked by on PKs not once but twice in the postseason…


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