As he's been linked with interest from Major League Soccer clubs in the past, the news that Miguel Herrera was let go by Club America this weekend probably raised a few eyebrows in stateside technical departments.
While he's had some nice things to say about MLS in recent years, I'm not here to suggest he'll definitely be heading across the border for his next coaching challenge. Herrera has yet to manage outside Mexico and he's often talked about wanting a go in Europe, but let's not concern ourselves with that for now.
Instead, I'm going to run all MLS clubs with currently open jobs (plus one incoming expansion post) through the fit-o-meter to see which ones match well with a coach heavy on passion and experience.
I'm just going to kill the suspense right off the bat. Maybe it's just me with a hunch, but of the MLS teams with coaching vacancies, the Black-and-Red feel most like a suitable MLS landing spot for Herrera at this time — with one caveat.
While most Mexican coaches and clubs like to control the game through oppressive possession, Herrera is also quite comfortable with reactive game plans. Some of his best teams knew when to draw teams out and soak up pressure until they could break out with numbers. His teams also tend to strike from restarts well.
D.C. United, who probably aren't as bad as they often looked in 2020, fit that description well. The capital crew boast plenty of sturdy players in their defensive spine, an array of guys who can drive the rush and are habitually near the top of the set piece goal chart.
And now to that caveat: We're talking about a boss who likes to shift gears, so playing that style at all times is basically out. Use that open Designated Player slot to give the team a true tempo-setter for the No. 10 position and, all-in-all, D.C. strikes me as a decent match. The club could certainly play with more intent and emotion, and the fiery Herrera would definitely supply that.
This one is probably not even worth talking about, what with Greg Vanney reportedly set to take the reins in Carson. Let's talk about it anyway, just in case.
On the plus side, Herrera could easily become comfortable in Los Angeles, both culturally and with the spotlight of running the Galaxy. He also has a bit of "reclamation project" success on his ledger. Perhaps most importantly, he knows how to lean on Jonathan dos Santos, having made him a cornerstone figure when head coach of the Mexican national team.
On the other hand, Herrera sort of shoved Javier Hernandez aside during their El Tri days together. Whoever takes this job will need to put righting Chicharito near (if not at) the top of their to-do list upon walking in the door.
Meanwhile, El Piojo seems to have an eye toward Europe, and the Galaxy might prefer someone with a singular long term vision. In the end, it's certainly not the best fit out there for the Galaxy, even if Herrera isn't necessarily a bad one.
Unlike the clubs above, the Reds don't need a rebuild or to be pulled out of doldrums. The roster needs an offseason stitch here or there, to be sure, but it is packed full of players who tick boxes on the "championship-caliber side" checklist.
Heck, add a starting left back and another center back, and Toronto FC would be as well suited to run Herrera's preferred 5-3-2 as any team in the league. They also have an open Designated Player slot and promising young players coming through the pipeline. It's an attractive post is what I'm getting at.
Even so, I'm skeptical Herrera would choose to hike up to the Great White North for his first job outside of Mexico. The hot-blooded boss from southern Mexico just doesn't seem like a match for the climate or the vibe in Toronto.
While we're on the topic, let's also discuss the next expansion team coming through that has yet to name a coach.
Obviously, it's beyond difficult to talk about fit when Charlotte FC currently has only three players signed (and all of them complimentary midfielders, if you ask me). Then there's the whole other issue of starting a club from scratch using a whole new personnel system. I can't say for sure Herrera wouldn't be up for that particular challenge, but one could certainly see why he might not.
Throw in that joining Charlotte means Herrera sitting out over a year without games to manage, and yeah, this probably isn't the place for him.