According to a recent report by Sam Stejskal, the three candidates that HSG are focusing on are current United States U20 coach Tab Ramos, current Assistant coach Marco Ferruzzi, and current academy director Luchi Gonzalez.
Each one of them has an upside, and each one of them has a high risk and a high reward as a manager. All three of them seem more plausible than other names being floated around due to their relative success and recent work with youth, which is a description of how this club is built.
Which one is more likely? I don’t know, as all of them have upside. Still, it is worth investigating who these coaches are and how successful could they possibly be at this club.
Previous Job: He’s been the head coach of the USMNT U20’s since the beginning of the Klinsmann Era back in 2011. Since 2013, they have participated in three World Cups, and recently have qualified for the 2019 World Cup.
Hardware: In his tenure as coach for the US U20’s, they have gotten to three CONCACAF U20 Championship Finals and winning two of them. The farthest he’s gotten in the World Cup was to the quarterfinals twice.
Formation: During the 2018 CONCACAF U20 Championship, he almost always used a 4-1-4-1 or some variation of said formation.
Pros: He has had success with kids, which proves that the homegrown system here might suit him. He showed last month that he is able to get the best out of Servania, Pomykal, and Richards, who had exemplary performances. As one of the only bilingual coaches that is “available” currently, he seems like a good fit in the market. Finally, of the three, he is the one big name that could possibly help market the team in other areas of DFW.
Cons: There are only two that stand out to me. First is his inexperience as a professional head coach. His coaching career has been focused on coaching kids, not adults. There should be concern whether he can manage a locker room that isn’t just consisting of teenagers. The second problem is his lack of connection with the Hunts Sports Group. Every single coach that was hired by the Hunts since Steve Morrow has been connected to the Hunts, and Tab isn’t. This isn’t a jab on Tab, but it seems unlikely that the Hunts will look at an outsider, for lack of a better term, as the first choice for the Head Coach position, even if that coach is a friend of someone inside the FCD organization (Fernando Clavijo).
Summary: Just like at the other choices, he is a big risk. However, many supporters seem supportive of a coach who has had success with young players on a much larger scale than just the FCD Academy.
Previous Job: Marco Ferruzzi’s entire coaching career has been with FCD. He has been an assistant coach for the club since 2004. He was the interim head coach in 2008 and the FCD Reserves coach in 2012.
Hardware: Marco helped Papi win the two trophies we won while Papi was the head coach here. It’s worth noting that Ferruzzi came in 2nd Place in FCD’s group for the MLS Reserves League behind Houston in 2012.
Formation: When he was the interim head coach in 2008 for 5 games, he played a 4-4-2 with Kenny Cooper and Dominic Oduro up top.
Pros: The one thing Marco has over both coaches is the professional career. He has been an assistant coach in MLS for 2004, which undoubtedly has given him an edge of experience on the other two choices.
Cons: He isn’t a big name. No one believes that new fans will flock the gates of Toyota Stadium just to see Marco Ferruzzi coach. Also, it will be extremely difficult for the Hunts to sell Marco as the solution to our trophy problem to a group of fans that have clearly shown frustration with the organization.
Summary: Marco is probably the lowest risk for the organization, as the current squad is very familiar with the current assistant. Still, this choice seems almost too safe for too many fans.
Previous Job: Luchi has been the FC Dallas Academy Director since 2015, but entered the FCD Academy System as a coach in 2012 for the U18s. Before that, he was the head coach for Gulliver Prep and Coral Gables Torres in Florida.
Hardware: As the coach of the U16s, Luchi was the DA Champions for the 2014-15 season. This success got him the promotion of Academy Director, and in his first, both the U18s and U16s were DA Champions in a historic season for the academy.
Formation: Luchi as the Academy Director doesn’t really decide that, as the head coaches spend more time with the players, but both the U18s and U16s right now normally play some variety of a 4-2-3-1. But it always depends
Pros: Are we really #PlayTheKids? Then Luchi would be the obvious choice for coach. His understanding of and connection with the young players could help them reach the potential that we all hope they could have. The club could become the pinnacle of how to create the Academy to First Team pipeline, as that title undoubtedly goes to Red Bulls right now. The Hunts also could see a benefit of choosing the coach that could actually make the investment into the academy worthwhile.
Cons: Luchi has never coached players that are older than 18. That could seemingly be a problem with main veterans like Reto Ziegler and Matt Hedges. Can he balance his desire to play the kids with an attempt to achieve success in his first professional coaching position? P.S Many consider him to be best suited for the FCD 2 Team that is going to play in USL League 1 in their inaugural year.
Summary: Luchi is the highest risk out of the three, and we need a coach for the 2nd team. Still, he seems to be the best choice if we go for an internal hire.
Some other choices that have been thrown around are Jorge Rodriguez (Alianza), Jason Kreis (unattached), Caleb Porter (unattached), Leonel Alvarez (Cerro Porteno), and Dave Sarachan (will be unattached).
What do you guys think? What are the most important aspects you want in a head coach, and which nominee is your preference?