With the recent news that FC Dallas technical director Barry Gorman will no longer remain in that capacity, one of the bigger questions surrounding FCD this off-season centers around who they will name to replace Gorman? There are at least several in-house candidates or FCD could bring someone in from outside. Here’s a look at three possibilities from inside the organization:
John Ellinger --- Currently FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman’s top lieutenant, Ellinger does have some TD experience on his resume. While it came after he was relieved of head coaching duties during his time with Real Salt Lake, it is experience nonetheless. Ellinger also built a solid portfolio during his time working with US soccer, specifically on the youth development side. He’s also a guy that knows Major League Soccer in and out. But the big question with him would be would he want to take a gig that would take him out of coaching and might mean longer hours and more travel? He and Hyndman do already have a solid professional relationship, so that wouldn’t be an issue.
Marco Ferruzzi --- Ferruzzi is currently FCD’s longest-tenured assistant coach, having been with the club since 2004. He’s been an able lieutenant for three different head coaches in that time: Colin Clarke, Steve Morrow and now Schellas Hyndman. He even had a short stint as interim head coach between when Morrow was fired and Hyndman officially hired in 2008. Ferruzzi is a guy with a great grasp of the league since he has been coaching in MLS for the last eight seasons and before that, was a player. He would be a solid choice to move up, especially since he’s familiar with the Dallas organization top to bottom, but would he welcome what figures to be a much bigger workload as the club’s TD?
Oscar Pareja ---“Papi” continues to be a real asset to this organization and it’s been well publicized what kind of role he played in helping FCD land fellow Colombian Fabian Castillo earlier this year. He would be a great hire when it comes to scouting and eventually signing Latin and South American players because of his network of contacts from his pro career. He also knows MLS very well after stints as both a player and an assistant coach. The only question with the affable Pareja is whether or not he’d give up his gig working with the FCD reserves and youth academy to accept the TD gig? If he wants the job, then it could very well be his for the asking.
I’m not going to use this forum right now as an avenue to speculate about who FCD might look at for this position, but here are several points to consider as they look for a new TD.
Someone familiar with MLS is essential --- Gorman’s familiarity with the college game was a big selling point but if he had a shortcoming, it was a lack of knowledge when it came to the league. As a consequence he had to learn on the fly. Having someone who knows the ins and outs of MLS and how to get quality players is essential for this position.
Maybe someone Hyndman doesn’t know --- It was well documented when Gorman was hired how long he and Hyndman had been friends. No decision in Frisco about the soccer side of the club gets made without an approving nod from the gaffer, so will Hyndman decide to change directions and bring in someone he doesn’t know all that well? Probably not.
Possibly someone without a college background --- It’s hard to fault the choice of Gorman given the initial logic. Hyndman was a former college coach who brought in a colleague for the TD job. And FCD’s first and likely only draft under Gorman did net them Bobby Warshaw, who is a bit raw but looks like a player, so Goerman’s background did pay off at least in that fashion. But other than drafting, how much does having a guy with a college background really benefit a team in MLS? I submit not all that much as anyone who gets this gig can scout players no matter the level. Since FCD went with an ex-college coach the first time around, it wouldn’t surprise anyone to see them go a completely different direction this time.