The D.C. United coaching search is in its third month with seemingly no end in sight. There’s been no shortage of names to emerge, as well as two candidates — former New York Red Bulls coach Chris Armas and Seattle Sounders FC assistant Gonzalo Pineda — who were reportedly offered the job, only for talks to break down.
Other names have surfaced, from former US women’s national team coach Jill Ellis to Manchester City assistant Rodolfo Borrell to Columbus Crew SC assistant coach Ezra Hendrickson, with German coach Alexander Zorniger the latest name to enter the candidate pool.
So what’s the latest in the search? D.C. United CEO Jason Levien, who helps lead the club’s first coaching hire in more than a decade, spoke with Tried and True — the D.C. United Postgame Podcast, about the latest more than three months after Ben Olsen departed as the club’s coach.
“The process has been a long one and I apologize if some fans are restless about it, but we really want to make the right selection,” he said, adding “we’ve done a lot of work trying to figure out exactly how we want to play, what our style of play is going to be, what that philosophy’s going to be that’s going to lead us and who our field general, as a coach, is going to be.”
Levien said general manager Dave Kasper has spoken to 25-30 candidates and a “handful” have been interviewed and that D.C. United are “angry and hungry” following a disappointing 2020 season that “left a bitter taste in our mouth.”
As for Olsen, Levien said he’s “already advising us on soccer-related decisions” in a still-developing front-office role, including weighing in on the coaching search and the construction of the club’s training facility. According to Washington Post's Steve Goff, Olsen reportedly interviewed for the Toronto FC coaching position, but is not considered a finalist. MLSsoccer.com reports Armas also had multiple interviews about the Toronto FC vacancy.
Ben Olsen has begun DCU front-office work in an advisory role, Levien said. Olsen did interview for Toronto job, but he's not a finalist. Long friendship with GM Ali Curtis led to that. I don't have any inside knowledge at TFC, but I wouldn't be surprised if Chris Armas is hired.— Steven Goff (@SoccerInsider) January 10, 2021
You can watch the entire podcast here.