AMSTERDAM – There are only a few weeks left in the 2015 MLS regular season, but we already know two MLS clubs that will be searching for a full-time manager during the offseason.
While ex-assistant Mauro Biello is enjoying early success as Montreal’s interim manager following the Impact’s parting with Frank Klopas last month, technical director Brian Bliss is getting a run as Chicago’s caretaker coach after Frank Yallop’s dismissal on Sunday. They are the first two MLS clubs that will have a permanent manager post to fill and there is always the possibility that they and others seek out an international option for their next selection.
To that end, here's a top-five list of potential international candidates with a clear lean toward names that would likely be considered realistic chases.
Honorable mentions: Martin Jol, Cesare Prandelli
No. 5 – Lucien Favre
Age: 57 | Nationality: Swiss
Resume: Echallens, Yverdon Sports, Servette, FC Zürich, Hertha Berlin, Borussia Mönchengladbach
Style: Favre does not mind sharing possession, because it allows his teams to work the bang-bang, counter-attacking style he likes.
Greatest Achievement: The man can revive glory, no doubt about that. Favre dramatically resurrected his last three clubs, most notably leading ‘Gladbach to a third-place Bundesliga finish last season, giving them their first UEFA Champions League berth since 1978.
Best Qualities: Excellent tactically, Favre has a great rep with players, who often overachieve for him. He is also known as a great teacher for young pros.
The Downside: He is fresh off a tough departure from Borussia Mönchengladbach, where he just quit after losing the first five games of the season. Now established as a Bundesliga-caliber coach, Favre should be in high demand with German clubs or even European name brands. In other words, he won't be an easy catch.
No. 4 – Frank Rijkaard
Age: 52 | Nationality: Dutch
Resume: Netherlands (national team), Sparta Rotterdam, Barcelona, Galatasaray, Saudi Arabia (national team)
Style: Unsurprisingly, the Dutch legend wants it done the Ajax way. That means plenty of winning from a compact attacking set that aims to entertain on the way to goal.
Greatest Achievement: Was named the UEFA Manager of the Year with Barcelona for the 2005-06 campaign, a season that ended with Rijkaard lifting the La Liga crown and UEFA Champions League silverware.
Best Qualities: Like Favre, the former Barcelona boss would threaten to take the top spot if ranked on quality and potential excitement alone. Rijkaard lends an air of calm professional confidence and club squads go through walls for him.
The Downside: He's been out of a top-flight or national team job since January 2013, signing on to work for a Florida-based academy. Can he be lured back to the professional game?
No. 3 – José Manuel "Chepo" de la Torre
Age: 49 | Nationality: Mexico
Resume: Chivas Guadalajara, Toluca, Mexico (national team), Chivas Guadalajara
Style: De la Torre typically tries to own the ball, dictate tempo and capitalize offensively.
Greatest Achievement: Leading Mexico to the 2011 Gold Cup title qualifies, but some might prefer the shine of his three Liga MX crowns.
Best Qualities: Despite the Gold Cup win, De la Torre is much more of a club manager. He is one of those animated, emotional sideline walkers, with teams that tend to be tough and disciplined.
The Downside: Let's face it, his tactics are not going to fly in every MLS locale. Some? Sure, but he won't be for every team even if he ventured into the league and there will be questions about whether he can get an entire squad behind his ideas.
No. 2 – Roberto Donadoni
Age: 52 | Nationality: Italian
Resume: Lecco, Livorno, Genoa, Livorno, Italy (national team), Napoli, Cagliari, Parma
Style: Donadoni’s tactics are defensive and disciplined, but it can also be said that he likes to create a harmonious locker room. He also is adept at delegating responsibilities to and seeking input from both his staff and key players.
Greatest Achievement: One would probably point to his Euro 2008 quarterfinal run with Italy. With their backs to the wall, Italy beat France to escape their group before holding eventual winners Spain scoreless until the losing in a penalty kick shootout. Of course, he was then promptly fired, which seemed rather unfair to this reporter.
Best Qualities: This space believes Italian-style soccer would fare well in today's MLS and a little of that influence bleeding to the US national team would not be a terrible thing. Donadoni certainly knows how to meld these two field cultures, something few world managers will walk in the door understanding.
The Downside: Donadoni qualifies as an emotional pick here, and we all know those don't always hold water in the end. Plus, he might feel he has unfinished business in Serie A. From his angle, would he be lured by anything but New York?
No. 1 – Harry Redknapp
Age: 68 | Nationality: England
Resume: Bournemouth, West Ham United, Portsmouth, Southampton, Portsmouth, Tottenham, Queens Park Rangers
Style: Frank Lampard's uncle has an English way, but he is not averse to sprinkling in other wrinkles. Redknapp does tend to favor establishing a regular lineup, which can often be difficult in MLS.
Greatest Achievement: He won the 2008 FA Cup with Portsmouth. Redknapp also took Tottenham to the Champions League group stage for the first time in 2010, getting Spurs all the way to the quarters.
Best Qualities: While not all players will appreciate it, Redknapp is definitely a "carrot over stick" manager. When everyone is on board, his teams can be very tight-knit, and thus difficult to break on the field.
The Downside: Is there much of one? Aside from his entertainment factor, 'Arry played and coached in America with the Seattle Sounders, recently scouted MLS and has publicly talked about coaching in the league.
Greg Seltzer covers Americans based in Europe for MLSsoccer.com.