The Houston Dynamo’s search for a head coach looks to be heading into its final stretch, with former Burnley, Bolton Wanderers and Wigan Athletic manager Owen Coyle reportedly a top candidate for the position.
Multiple reports surfaced on Thursday that Coyle has interviewed for the position. Sources with knowledge of the hiring process confirmed to MLSsoccer.com that the Scottish-born manager interviewed for the position first in early November, and has since met with the club's ownership group.
When reached for comment, Dynamo president Chris Canetti (pictured above) declined to comment specifically on talks with the former Bolton manager.
“At this point in the process, the Dynamo have no comment on specific candidate names in regards to the open head coaching position,” Canetti told MLSsoccer.com. “While that is the case, after a very thorough and widespread process, we’re hopeful that we’re getting closer to naming a new head coach.”
Sources confirmed to MLSsoccer.com that the club hopes to have a decision made on its new coach within the next week.
New York Red Bulls assistant coach Robin Fraser has also interviewed for the position, sources confirmed to MLSsoccer.com.
The two candidates were among a list submitted to ownership for consideration prior to Thanksgiving which is believed to have included five names, including: current New York Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese, who declined to pursue the job, and current Houston assistant coaches Steve Ralston and Wade Barrett, both of whom interviewed for the position.
Coyle's last coaching stint ended last December after a tumultuous six-month stint with Wigan Athletic. He had previously managed Burnley and Bolton, leading Burnley to promotion to the English Premier League in 2009 before leaving for Bolton – and signing former Dynamo player Stuart Holden – in January 2010. Coyle's Bolton trained and played a friendly in Houston in 2011, and Coyle said he watched MLS games every week.
Fraser has MLS head-coaching experience with Chivas USA in 2011-'12 and has served as Mike Petke's top assistant with the New York Red Bulls over the last two years.
Barrett, the club's captain from 2006-09, retired to join the Dynamo coaching staff prior to the 2010 season, with Ralston doing so later that year.
The Dynamo have maintained silence regarding particulars of the coaching search during the near two-month process that began when Dominic Kinnear resigned to accept the same position with the San Jose Earthquakes.
Houston have since hired Matt Jordan as their first general manager, with Jordan assisting Canetti in the search process.
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.