Monday, October 30, 2006

United Coaching Shocker -- According to a column by Mike Wise, in the Washington Post, following D.C. United's narrow, fortunate escape against the Red Bulls, D.C. United's management has "not exactly been knocking down his door to begin extension talks," with Coach Peter Nowak, whose contract expires in November. Nowak has already won one title with D.C., and has been mentioned as a serious candidate to follow in Bruce Arena's footsteps yet again, this time as the U.S. National team coach.

According to Wise, Nowak's players, "all like and respect him." If anything, Wise's comments reflect his own concern that Nowak's coaching may be partly responsible for last season's early playoff exit, and the near-disater at RFK this night. Still, this is the first suggestion in the media that all is not well at the top in United's hierarchy. I might suggest an alternative theory: With United still in negotiations for new ownership, current management may be hesitant to commit either way on Nowak. It may be that there has been a decision to postpone a decision on Nowak's future, until after new ownership is in place.

In any case, the focus right now is on bringing home another MLS championship. With respect to Nowak, Wise writes that, win or lose, "it is time to go another direction next season." I think it's far too soon to be writing Nowak's epitath as United coach.

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