Why Dominic Kinnear Should Be the Next Head Coach of the USMNT

November 21, 2012
By

With the USMNT on to the hexagonal and some big results in friendlies away to Italy, Mexico and Russia in 2012, a coaching change is surely not in the near future for the USMNT.

However, when that coaching change does happen and the U.S. is looking for a new coach to take the reins, Dominic Kinnear should be given a serious look.

Here are five reasons that Kinnear would be a good choice.

He has a proven track record of success

With the Dynamo, Kinnear has won the MLS Cup twice (2006, 2007) and an impressive four conference championships (2006 and 2007 in the Eastern Conference, 2011 and 2012 in the Western Conference).

Plus, Kinnear gets it done when it counts.

This year, despite a regular season in which the Dynamo finished fifth in the Eastern Conference and barely qualified for the MLS playoffs, Houston has gone on to beat the Chicago Fire on the road, Eastern Conference champions Sporting Kansas City in the conference semifinals and an incredibly hot DC United in the conference finals.

He can develop players and is an excellent man-manager

Kinnear has repeatedly demonstrated his skill at developing and managing players.

Dynamo stars Corey Ashe, Will Bruin, Kofi Sarkodie and Tally Hall have all played their entire professional careers under Kinnear.

Andre Hainault, Bobby Boswell, Brian Ching, Pat Onstad and Brad Davis have all played the bulk of their careers under Kinnear with the Dynamo.

Kinnear also developed Geoff Cameron, Stuart Holden and Ricardo Clark both for moves abroad and for spots on the USMNT.

He adapts well to changing situations

One thing the manager of a national team has to be able to do is adapt to changing circumstances. Rarely is a first-choice lineup available whether it is due to injuries, form or club-country conflicts.

However, Kinnear has shown he can quickly adjust to changing situations and continue to be successful.

Prior to the 2010 season, Kinnear lost his central midfield with both Stuart Holden and Ricardo Clark going overseas. Yet, by 2011, he had rebuilt the Dynamo and led them to the Eastern Conference championship and the MLS Cup.

This year he lost Geoff Cameron midseason when Cameron moved to Stoke City in the English Premier League and yet Kinnear still led the Dynamo back to the MLS Cup.

He’s American and a USMNT veteran

While Kinnear was born in Scotland, his family moved to California when he was three and he played the bulk of his professional career in MLS.

Kinnear also made 54 appearances for the United States Men’s National Team in the buildup to the 1994 World Cup, even though he did not make the final WC squad.

He is well aware of the American system, what it does well and what it does not, and after Jurgen Klinsmann’s stint as USMNT manager is over, it would be nice to go back to an American coach.

He gets the most out of the players available to him

In Major League Soccer, each team is severely restricted in player acquisitions and dealings by the league’s single-entity structure.

This structure presents similar challenges to those faced by a national team manager.

While the U.S. over the past year or two has been very successful at convincing dual-nationals to play for the U.S., it is still restricted in who is eligible to play for the squad.

Managing a team in MLS is similar in that a team cannot just go out and buy the players it wants to as most clubs in the world can.

Kinnear also has a reputation of getting the most out of his players. Houston may not play the most aesthetically-pleasing style, but their physical, hard-working play makes them successful and gets them results—and that’s what’s most important.

John D. Halloran
johnhalloran@hotmail.com


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