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MLS Ticker: Dynamo narrow coaching search; Revs owner says club ‘belongs in Boston’; and more

ChrisCanettiHoustonDynamo1 (USATodaySports)

 

Photo by Andrew Richardson/ USA Today Sports
 

By RYAN TOLMICH

With Dominic Kinnear set to return to the San Jose Earthquakes, the Houston Dynamo are on the hunt for a replacement for their long-time boss.

Team president Chris Canetti and new general manager Matt Jordan are hoping to narrow the list of candidates to two or three before submitting recommendations to the club’s ownership.

“My goal would be to have two-three finalists that we can present to ownership by the weekend,” said Canetti, who declined to reveal the frontrunners amongst the reported nine candidates.

“We have an unbelievable list of candidates from all different walks of life and in different areas of soccer,” Jordan said. “We’ve narrowed down the list. Now we’re working hard to do as much due diligence and homework as we move forward.”

Among the candidates are Kinnear assistants Wade Barrett and Steve Ralston, who the Houston Chronicle reports were interviewed for the job Monday.

“Wade and Steve were very impressive in their interviews,” Canetti said. “They came into the interview and were very well prepared. I was impressed, and so was Matt.”

Here are some more news and notes from around MLS:

REVS’ KRAFT SAYS CLUB ‘BELONGS IN BOSTON’

With the club on its best run since 2007, the New England Revolution have gotten plenty of public attention as the club continues to pursue a new stadium.

Owner Jonathan Kraft said Tuesday that he believes that the club  “belongs in Boston or the immediate surrounding area,” while revealing that the club maintains hope for an urban stadium.

“They belong in a city with public transportation,” Kraft said, “where new Americans and the 20-, 30- and 40-year-olds who played the game and live in and around urban areas want to go to it. And it’s a different kind of vibe than a suburban football stadium has.

“It’s something we’ve been working on for a while,” he continued, “and we’ve come very close with a couple of situations over the past half dozen years and they didn’t happen. Because of that we’re just going to stay quiet until we have something. So hopefully we’ll be able to do it and then create the special atmosphere that exists in many other venues around the league.”

SEVEN MLS CLUBS PARTNER WITH HEINEKEN

As an official sponsor of the UEFA Champions League, Heineken is a company at the forefront of soccer sponsorships. However, the Dutch beer company is now set to explore commercial opportunities with a slew of MLS clubs.

Heineken, who is set to become the league’s official beer in 2015, has reached partnership agreements with seven MLS clubs. The beer company will now become the Official Beer  of the Chicago Fire, D.C. United, New York City FC and Orlando City SC and the Official Import of the Columbus Crew, Houston Dynamo and New York Red Bulls.

“By partnering with these clubs we’re able to more directly connect with  American soccer fans and provide them with a premium experience—and beer—they have come to expect from Heineken,” said Nuno Teles, Heineken Chief Marketing Officer. “We are known worldwide as a genuine soccer brand, and these partnerships will provide a direct platform to reach the soccer fans and fuel their passion for the game.

“Heineken does a tremendous job in activating their partnerships and we’re excited to see that creativity come to life alongside our league and these seven MLS clubs,” added Gary Stevenson, President and Managing Director, MLS Business Ventures.

The deal will now see Heineken partner with clubs for stadium signage, fan experiences and intellectual property rights.

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Who do you think the Dynamo should pursue in their head coaching search? What do you expect to come of the Revs’ stadium pursuit? What do you think of the Heineken deal?

Share your thoughts below.

Comments

  1. I’m with the “I’ll believe it when I see it” crowd. The Revs will always finish a poor second to the Patriots in Kraft’s mind. The team’s success this year has forced him to come into the open and say something that sounds hopeful. But if wishes were horses, then beggars would ride.

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  2. I like Jonathan Kraft, but do we really think he has the pull to get his dad to pay for this?

    I’m also skeptical about either of their ability to successfully get this built near a T station.

    One remote possibility would be to build the smallest stadium in MLS, something the size of a CostCo. Go Wrigley Field-retro.
    Put it on the green line and you could still make money off of the neck beards

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  3. im just happy to see the Krafts investing and talking about the Revs. the stadium is a difficult task but if anyone can get it done its them.. might take forever but an exciting team in Gillette isn’t the worst situation for the time being. glad to see them involved and working towards some kind of long term goal.

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    • Yep. Gillette is no RFK. I like how Kraft seems to “get it” regarding the younger demo that MLS and their sponsors covet. Whether that knowledge translates into an urban stadium for the Revs remains to be seen.

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  4. The Krafts haven’t yanked a single chain, and for the people – like Expansion geek – who think the team also needs a new logo and name, what gives? How can you be an MLS enthusiast and want to wipe the Revs history clean? I don’t get it – the Revs were one of the more consistent franchises during the first decade of the league and more, and arguably gave birth to the leagues most successful homegrown export – Clint Dempsey. A lot of battles, and I think losing in those finals are a huge part of the franchise history, especially when they do finally win one (this year!).

    I honestly don’t understand how people can approach the stadium situation with such half-hazard complaints . . . yes, they are in dire need for a stadium. But it’s been very clear since day 1 that the Krafts – as is their track record – will settle for nothing less than exactly what they want, and that is clearly to be somewhere with access to the T/closer to the city itself. And how many available sites have they passed on? Exactly . . the somerville train yards came with miles and miles of classic Massachusetts red tape attached. It isn’t like land comes easy in the Boston metro area . . . look at the red sox as example A of having to settle for what they have in terms of location.

    I think a stadium will come, and it will honestly be the crown jewel when it does. Who would want to be another Portland? You would want to be shoe horned into a converted baseball field stadium with turf because its easier for you to do something more “authentic” like have a few IPAs and then walk over to the match with your friends, supposedly wearing a new color scheme and shouting a new team name as well? that might be going overboard – but why have something just to have it as soon as possible? How has Portland’s stadium translated into on the field success? Cool Tifo guys, let me know how the football lines look on TV in Foxboro when you watch us on TV for the next 2 weeks.

    If there is one entities business acumen to trust, its definitely the Krafts. Anyone who has seen what they have done with the Patriots should trust that in a long terms sense. and also, take a sip of reality sometime, in terms of the political and fiscal climate of the greater Boston area . . . it isnt like they have been letting opportunities pass by. They are going to take the right opportunity, not the first second or third one, and long term I think execution is more important than timing. Of course its frustrating, this young and dynamic team would be a lot more fun to watch anywhere but Gilette . . . and their brand will grow a LOT quicker as soon as there is a stadium and it is closer . . . but the league isnt going anywhere, and neither are the Revs, so I am more willing to take them at their word than most.

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    • Love the passion, dude.

      I’ve always felt that a Boston Metro area stadium would be bring one of the best atmosphere’s in MLS. I also think that the revitalization of the original franchises, like Sporting KC pulled off, is one of the keys to MLS 3.0. As a MLS fan, I can’t wait to you guys get the right stadium.

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    • Every few years Jonathan Kraft talks about a Boston stadium and then nothing materializes. I believe they will do a great job when something comes to pass, and I appreciate what he said about keeping quiet until something is in place… He just needs to practice what he preaches!

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    • Great post Dos.
      Putting a new stadium into a big city market/major metropolitan area is a very difficult thing to do, particularly in todays economy. It needs the right combination of economical environment, available land, team success/fan interest, political clout and investors to come together simultaneously. The NFL which has as much pull as any league within any given country in the world has tried and failed many times…. an up and coming league outside the mainstream is going to have an even tougher go at it.

      I really do hope the Krafts can pull it off. A Revs team playing in a quality stadium within Boston would be a huge coup for the league and put one more team in very solid standing. No small thing is that it would be within the major media center of traditional ESPN/American sports focus.

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  5. While I agree a stadium in the Boston area would be ideal, I think Gillette stadium for the Revs gets an unfairly bad rap. It’ a really nice place to see a match with adjacent restaurants, shopping and movie theatre (in case you have some in your party who haven’t learned to like soccer yet) all a part of the set-up there. It’s relatively new and clean, and I believe the turf was recently replaced and has received FIFA’s highest rating. I had a great time there.

    Question for those in cities with downtown soccer stadiums. Do you have enough surface parking to create any type of tailgating atmosphere? Tailgating is one American sporting traditions I think really adds to the match experience/atmosphere. Certainly has at the USMNT matches I’ve attended. I imagine it will be hard to find a place in or near Boston that’s near the T and will also have space for a significant amount of parking.

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    • certainly area around some of the outer T/MBTA stops like Woburn, Salem, Revere, Arlington, Braintree, Lowell maybe even Providence that could make for interesting combination urban/TOD & tailgating/car access sites. urban sites like Revere, Assembly Row and the waterfront could all offer that as well.

      no doubt there is a lot of potential options, getting any of them to work will be a huge task tho.

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  6. Teams like New England, Columbus, have time to make plan and move to a better location and it has to happen sooner than later.
    New England can be another Portland, with a better location, new name, new logo and stadium. Their colors should represent Boston and the New England area , it’s so simple mr.kraft.
    As for Columbus, imagine your beautiful colors in a new stadium and if Columbus gets a new stadium, the Mexico vs USA game would only get better. If you like your weird old school stadium then tell your owner to look at soldier field and do it like that 🙂 or the future plans of Barcelona and Madrid stadium. ( talking about design not seating capacity)
    As for teams like rapids, fc Dallas, galaxy, Philly, Chicago, their stadium location is not ideal and hopefully when the contract is over, maybe they can leave the stadium for a better location and new digs.

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    • You’re insane. New name, new logo, and new colors will not turn NE into another PDX. New England has a huge sports market to compete with – Pats, Celtics, Sox, Bruins, college sports. (Just like how it’s difficult for the Fire to compete – Bears, Bulls, Sox, Cubs, Hawks, college sports.) What does Portland have? The Trailblazers. That’s it. Just like how Seattle just has the Seahawks and Mariners. Hell, even Crew can’t compete that heavily with OSU and Blue Jackets. Smaller niche market. Give New England some credit. Yes, there’s more work to be done, but you can’t wipe away the tradition the Revs have already built. It’s not so simple, Expansion geek.

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      • portland has to deal with college football. oregon, oregon state, pretty much any pac12 school … i struggle to get MLS games on tvs at my bar on saturdays due to all the different college football games. more than once the timbers got bounced because someone wanted ucla or something.

    • What is wrong with there name, colors and logo? The Revolutionary War started in New England,…the colors are red, white and blue and the logo ties soccer into our nations flag. What’s not to like? Not to mention,…that given Kraft owns the NFL New England Patriots,…there is a little bit of symetry.

      An urban stadium would help but before anyone crushes Kraft on this topic,…recall Metrostars long wait, LA challenges,…DCU ongoing battle in the District. It is such a challenge to get a stadium in the heart of a downtown area like Houston has done. Red Bulls, Union, Chicago, LA all failed and DCU and NYCFC are struggling.

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  7. “We have an unbelievable list of candidates from all different walks of life and in different areas of soccer.”

    For the Houston coach, when I read this, I immediately thought of a non-white and/or non-male candidate, or someone who either isn’t a former MLS player or who wasn’t an assistant coach (NWSL coach, youth coach, a TD, etc). I think a female coach would be absolutely incredible. Steve Ralston sounds amazing; don’t know much about Wade Barrett.

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  8. I hope the Revs owners are being sincere in their proclamations of looking for an urban stadium. They have to have noticed that the league has passed them by. They have a great team right now and it would be sweet if they had their own stadium in Boston. I bet they could create an amazing atmosphere with a younger crowd if they were in Boston. Just don’t get rid of those old dudes shooting muskets when they score.

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    • The comment above has been true for almost 10 years.
      The Revs/Krafts have teased the fans with “proposals” that never really seemed to get very far beyond the early planning stages.
      Building a truly urban stadium in Boston proper would be very difficult, unless they teamed with a college like BU to upgrade their existing stadium. I’m not sure the Krafts would be up for that.
      Building something at the outer reaches of the T would be a little easier, but still difficult given that most of suburban Boston (inside Rte 128) is pretty much over-developed already, and big pieces of land would require either demolition or re-zoning.
      They could look at something on the commuter rail lines in a little bit more of a suburban area (between Rtes 128 and 495). More land availability, still retain access to public transportation…
      Best of luck to them…

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    • Not to burst your bubble but I think the front office is blowing steam up fans’ you-know-what.

      Although my DC has been in stadium hell as long as you’ve been, at least we’re public in our efforts which gives fans hope. Because the Revs haven’t mentioned anything concrete in years, I can only imagine they’re stalling.

      The Krafts were immense in getting MLS off the ground. They’ll always be remembered. But they have to move on. Surely, there’s enough money and Boston pride to find some investment group willing to throw down on a stadium.

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