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Assessing the Revolution coaching rumors

Here are the names we’ve heard so far.

Soccer: 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup -USA  at Jamaica Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Revolution are looking to name their next head coach before the end of November, according to club president Brian Bilello. Although we don’t really know the direction the Front Office will go, we have heard the names of some of the people who have interviewed for the job. Should Revs fans be excited about this list of candidates? Let’s take a look.

Tom Soehn

Biography: Soehn was a defender for the Dallas Burn and Chicago Fire before retiring in 2000. His first coaching gig was with the Fire, where he served as an assistant before moving to D.C. United in 2003 to fill the same role. He became head coach of the Black and Red in 2007. After collecting a Supporters Shield and an Open Cup, Soehn stepped aside to become the Director of Soccer Operations for the Vancouver Whitecaps. Soehn left Canada in 2012 and eventually landed as Jay Heaps’ assistant in 2014.

Level of Excitement: Low

The Revs need a change in culture and hiring Heaps’ assistant, a guy who has bounced around MLS, isn’t exactly ambitious. Soehn did do well during the last five games of 2017, compiling a 3-1-1 record while guiding the Revs to their first road win of the season. If Soehn coached more games then he might be a more attractive candidate. Instead, he feels like a retread.

Daniel Passarella

Biography: Passarella has an extensive coaching resume, which includes time with River Plate (1989-1994, 2006-2007), the Argentine National Team (1994-1998), Uruguayan National Team (1999-2001), Parma (2001) Monterrey (2002-2004), and Corinthians (2005). Passarella recently had a “simple interview“ with General Manager Michael Burns.

Level of Excitement: Low

Passarella is the type of name that the Revs should be looking to sign but the fact that he hasn’t coached in ten years is a red flag. Plus, foreigners often struggle to understand MLS’ strange rules. I have no problem with the organization interviewing Passarella but I don’t think he should get the job.

Steve Ralston

Biography: Ralston is a Revolution legend who was with the club from 2002-2009 (and for one game in 2010). The midfielder retired as the MLS all-time career leader in assists (135), appearances (378), and minutes played (33,143). His post-playing career saw him join Revolution rival the Houston Dynamo as an assistant coach. In 2015 he relocated to San Jose to continue to work under Dominic Kinnear. Ralston still works as an Earthquakes assistant despite Kinnear being sacked mid-season.

Level of Excitement: The low side of moderate

Ralston was a fan favorite in New England and I wouldn’t be opposed to welcoming him back. That said, he’s only ever been an assistant. Spending ten years as a number two definitely hurts his chances at getting the job, especially since the organization just fired a legend with no head coaching experience.

Giovanni Savarese

Biography: Savarese is a former attacker that spent time with clubs around the world, including one season with the Revolution. In 2013 the Venezuelan international became the head coach of the fabled New York Cosmos of NASL. Here, he won the Soccer Bowl Championship in 2013, 2015, and 2016.

Level of Excitement: Moderate

Savarese has had success as a head coach, which is a huge positive. That said, he’s dominated the lower division while having a high bank roll. That wouldn’t be the case if he came to New England, so you have to wonder how he would do in MLS. Hiring Savarese would certainly be an interesting experiment.

Brad Friedel

Biography: Friedel is a former goalkeeper who amassed 82 USMNT caps from 1992-2005. During his club career, he spent some time with the Crew before moving to England where he suited up for Liverpool (1997-2000), the Blackburn Rovers (2000-2008), Aston Villa (2008-2011), and Tottenham Hotspur (2011-2015). Since retiring, Friedel has worked as a TV commentator and youth soccer coach. In 2016 he was named the U.S. U-19 head coach and in 2017 he was an assistant coach for the team that won the CONCACAF U-20 Championship.

Level of Excitement: The high side of moderate

Friedel was a great player and his work as a commentator shows that he knows the game. His lack of experience as a coach is a negative but I do like that he’s been working within the U.S. setup. It’s definitely a positive that he’s coached under Tab Ramos. In sum, it’s hard to know exactly what to think of Friedel as a candidate.

Pat Noonan

Biography: Noonan is a former Revolution player that called Foxboro home from 2003-2007. After a brief stint with Norwegian club Aalesunds FK, Noonan returned to MLS to play for Crew SC (2008-2009), the Colorado Rapids (2009), Seattle Sounders (2010-2011), and LA Galaxy (2012). Since retiring, Noonan has been an assistant coach under Bruce Arena, first with the Galaxy then with the U.S. National Team.

Level of Excitement: The high side of moderate

Noonan doesn’t have any experience as a head coach but I like the fact that he comes from Arena’s coaching tree. Surely Noonan has learned a lot while working with Arena and his close alley Dave Sarachan. Noonan gets bonus points for providing Keyln Rowe advice while with the USMNT. Hiring Noonan would be a gamble but it could payoff in a big way.

Final Thoughts

In all honesty, I’m not exactly thrilled about any of the rumored candidates. The Revs need someone like Tata or Patrick Vieira to come in and change the culture. That’s not to say that the rumored names couldn’t get the job done. Rather, they just feel like safe options.