Olsen and Pareja before a game
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By the Numbers: Breaking down MLS coaching fraternity

On Thursday morning, the Major Leage Soccer coaching fraternity welcomed yet another fresh-faced head man to their ranks, as the New York Red Bulls annouced the interim tag will no longer apply to former assistant Mike Petke.

Petke, 36, becomes the league's seventh head coach aged 40 or younger and is also the 12th boss with MLS playing experience (denoted by * in the list below).

All of which got us wondering: What's the age breakdown like among top-flight coaches in the US and Canada? Who is the elder statesman? Does age have any correlation to success on the field?

We'll let you chime in on the latter in the comment section below. In the meantime, here are MLS' 19 head coaches ordered by age from youngest to oldest:

  • Ryan Nelsen*, Toronto FC (35 years old, 8/18/1977)
  • Ben Olsen*, D.C. United (35 years old, 5/03/1977)
  • Jay Heaps*, New England Revolution (36 years old, 8/02/1976)
  • Mike Petke*, New York Red Bulls (36 years old, 1/30/1976)
  • Martin Rennie, Vancouver Whitecaps (37 years old, 5/22/1975)
  • Caleb Porter*, Prtland Timbers (37 years old, 2/18/1975)
  • Jason Kreis*, Real Salt Lake (40 years old, 12/29/1972)
  • John Hackworth, Philadelphia Union (42 years old, 2/05/1970)
  • Oscar Pareja*, Colorado Rapids (44 years old, 8/10/1968)
  • Dominic Kinnear*, Houston Dynamo (45 years old, 7/26/1967)
  • Peter Vermes*, Sporting Kansas City (46 years old, 11/21/1966)
  • Frank Klopas*, Chicago Fire (46 years old, 9/01/1966)
  • Frank Yallop*, San Jose Earthquakes (48 years old, 4/04/1964)
  • Robert Warzycha*, Columbus Crew (49 years old, 8/20/1963)
  • Marco Schällibaum, Montreal Impact (50 years old, 4/06/1962)
  • José Luis Sánchez Solá, Chivas USA (53 years old, 1/31/1959)
  • Sigi Schmid, Seattle Sounders (59 years old, 3/20/1953)
  • Schellas Hyndman, FC Dallas (61 years old, 11/04/1951)
  • Bruce Arena, LA Galaxy (61 years old, 9/20/1951)

Average age: 45 years old

Head coaches with MLS playing experience: 12

MLS Cup winners: Bruce Arena (4), Sigi Schmid (2), Frank Yallop (2), Dominic Kinnear (2), Jason Kreis (1)

By nationality:

  • United States – 12 (Olsen, Petke, Heaps, Porter, Kreis, Hackworth, Kinnear, Klopas, Vermes, Schmid, Arena, Hyndman)
  • Canada – 1 (Yallop)
  • Mexico – 1 (Sánchez Solá)
  • Colombia – 1 (Pareja)
  • Scotland – 1 (Rennie)
  • Poland – 1 (Warzycha)
  • New Zealand – 1 (Nelsen)
  • Switzerland – 1 (Schällibaum)

MLS Summer Beat

This week, we're celebrating the connection between music and MLS in advance of the inaugural MLS Summer Beat, a concert series over Memorial Day weekend, coming this year to Atlanta, San Jose, and Seattle. Learn more on how to attend a Summer Beat concert.


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MLS All-Stars take on Spanish giants Real Madrid in star-studded clash on August 2 in Chicago, IL.

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