Have FC Dallas finally found the man to replace long-time head coach Schellas Hyndman?
According to ESPN FC’s Jeff Carlisle, former Columbus Crew captain Guillermo Barros Scheletto tops the list of candidates to take over the reins of FCD. The Argentine maestro, who led the Crew to the 2008 MLS Cup/Supporters’ Shield double, is currently the manager of Lanús in his home country.
Dallas officials declined to comment when asked about the report by MLSsoccer.com.
However, Schelotto's success in Argentina may be the sticking point. A source told FutbolMLS.com on Thursday that Schelotto "plans to give priority to Lanús" when his contract expires with the Buenos Aires side in June.
The former Crew star has coached the Argentine lightweights into the final of the Copa Sudamericana -- they're tied 1-1 with Brazilian club Ponte Preta after the first leg in São Paulo on Wednesday -- and to a berth in the 2014 Copa Libertadores. Lanús are currently tied for second in the Argentine league's Torneo Inicial.
There's also speculation that if Boca Juniors opt to part with legendary coach Carlos Bianchi next summer, they could make a play for Schelotto, who was an icon there from 1997-2007.
The 40-year-old Schelotto possesses numerous characteristics that Hunt Sports Group vice president Dan Hunt and FC Dallas technical director Fernando Clavijo have stated they would like to see in a new coach, including experience in Major League Soccer, the ability to speak both English and Spanish, and a demonstrated commitment to an attacking style of soccer.
The Hunts, who owned the Crew from the team’s inception until this past summer, also know Schelotto personally.
Carlisle also reported that a host of other candidates join Schelotto on FCD’s list and that all have interviewed for the position: former Columbus technical director Brian Bliss, Houston assistant Steve Ralston, former D.C. United manager Tom Soehn, US Under-15 boys' head coach Hugo Perez, and Seattle assistant Brian Schmetzer.
Hyndman announced he was stepping down on October 18, when Hunt Sports Group chairman Clark Hunt told reporters he hoped to have a new coach in place within five weeks. Then in a conference call with the media on November 14, Dan Hunt said the club expected to have all first-round interviews completed within 10 days and that ideally, they’d have their man in place by December 1 – the deadline for clubs to exercise team options on player contracts – so that the new coach could give input into personnel decisions.
Clavijo, who has previous head coaching experience in MLS, has ruled himself out as a potential Hyndman replacement.
Matt Barbour covers FC Dallas for MLSsoccer.com.