I have been an MLS fan since RSL first took the pitch at Rice Eccles Stadium back in 2005. In my 12 years of fandom I have had the pleasure of watching coaches on the sidelines lose their minds over indignant calls and poor performances.
With the recently viral post game reactions of our very own Mike Petke, I had a thought. What if we were to take the meanest, surliest coaches that Major League Soccer has to offer and place them in a locked room, turn up the thermostat, and force them to watch the worst of the worst calls from our very own PRO until they came to fisticuffs? Who would come out on top, who would survive the madness that ensued?
Well wonder no more, we have done all the analysis for you and the results are in. Let’s head center ring to see who would feature prominently in the theoretical bloodshed and who will be crowned king of this battle royale.
Contender #1: Pablo “The Mustache” Mastroeni
Weight: Approximately 155 lbs.
Strengths: As coach of the cRapids he is comfortable stooping to any level to win, honor be damned. The other coaches will have to be well aware of the lengths he can go to pull out the victory. Attacking the eyes, ears, and junk are not off limits to this brawler.
Weaknesses: Devoid of any sense of a strategic mindset, he won’t have much of a plan when things go sideways. Fight harder seems to always be his only solution.
Special Move: “Park the bus,” consisting of him backing into a corner and looking to spring an attack when others forget he is even in the mix.
He is particularly strong against slower, less nimble coaches like Sigi Schmid or Gerardo Martino. If he can spring an attack from the shadows on them, their lack of speed will play right into his hands.
Contender #2: Caleb Porter a.k.a. The Silent Killer
Weight: Approximately 145 lbs.
Strengths: Porter is cool and calculated. When the boiling anger causes others to lose their senses, Porter does well to keep his wits about him. As the fight drags on and coaches give up tactics in favor of cheap tricks, Porter sticks to his plan.
Weaknesses: Porter doesn’t seem to have the same level of fury that you see in his peer group. While he is known to lash out in a passive-aggressive kind of way. When the crap hits the fan he may not be able to tap into the blinding rage that will be needed if he is to walk out of this death match alive.
Special Move: “Slap with a Smile.” On the surface Porter will feign peace and friendship, as if he is going to form an alliance, but beware. The moment you welcome his smiling face and warm embrace, he will slap the shit out of you. A more savvy combatant such as Pep Guardiola circa 2014 in the MLS All-star game knows better than to ever extend the hand of friendship to Porter, as it could be the last thing you do.
Contender #3: Jason Kreis a.k.a The Burning Man
Weight: Approximately 140 lbs
Strengths: It is only fitting that “the burning man” is the greatest player to ever don a Dallas Burn jersey. Although slight of build, this guy always has a burning fury simmering right below the surface, ready to erupt. He backs down to no one, whether they are an international starlet e.g. Beckham, Pirlo, Lampard, or even a lowly ball boy. Hell hath no fury in comparison to a scorned Jason Kreis.
Weaknesses: His mantra has always been “Audentis Fortuna Juvat,” fortune favors the bold. This has led him into making rash decisions that have proven costly only a short time later. He is a dangerous cocktail of 2 parts perfectionist, 1 part mastermind, and 1 part dreamer. When all of these mix at once, the damage can be catastrophic to everyone in his path, including himself.
Special Move: “Resurrection.” Kreis can be taken down, but you can never count him out. He was down as an injured player towards the end of his career, but parlayed that into becoming a championship coach. He was down again when fired after only a season as the first-ever head coach of NYCFC only to be resurrected again as the coach of Orlando City FC. The man knows not to quit no matter how hard you hit him, you better believe he will be coming right back at you. He is never completely out of the fight.
Contender #4: Patrick “The Pitbull” Vieira
Weight: Approximately 185 lbs.
Strengths: “The Pitbull” is a mountain of a man in comparison to many of his opponents. He towers over them in both height and weight. He has traveled the world, picking fights with the most battle hardened of competitors. While MLS offers a level of fight, it has nothing to offer that would compare to the clashes he’s been apart of. Unless Roy Keane himself showed up, I don’t see Vieira getting too nervous about this scrum.
Weaknesses: Vieira is still relatively new to this hemisphere and to the MLS. He hasn’t established himself as a powerhouse on this side of the pond just yet. Couple that with the fact that Jason Kreis will be looking to exact revenge on his NYCFC replacement and things could get dodgy on Vieira pretty quickly.
Special Move: “The Flying Elbow.” As we mentioned previously, Vieira has a distinct height advantage over his fellow combatants, and as such, they will need to be on the look out for his sharp elbows. He has been known to wield them like hammers, crashing them down into the skulls of his adversaries with no regard for life.
Contender #5: Peter Vermes a.k.a The High Press
Weight: Approximately 200 lbs
Strengths: Peter Vermes is an elder statesman of the league in every sense of the word. He is both one of the oldest coaches in both age and tenure in MLS. Along with having the age and experience that sets him up well for success, add in his intensity and physical size and Vermes looks like a serious contender. Vermes has run into the long arm of the law a time or two and no matter how short the time spent in the clink (6 hours), it will prove invaluable for him in a prison-rules brawl.
Weaknesses: Due to his competitive nature and ill demeanor, Vermes doesn’t have many friends. He will be going into this fight utterly alone, having to rely on his own abilities throughout the duration of the fight. If other combatants decide to form alliances early on, Vermes will be on the outside looking in and will be in some serious trouble.
Special Move: “The Laser Gaze.” With his chiseled jaw, steel gray hair, and piercing blue eyes. Vermes seeks to intimidate his opponents into submission long before the fight gets physical.
Contender #6: Siegfried Schmid a.k.a The Accountant
Height: Unknown (Seriously, couldn’t find it)
Weight: Approximately 300 lbs.
Strengths: Don’t count Sigi out due to his lack of fitness. Schmid possesses a handful of strengths that could cause a lot of problems for anyone that wants to go toe to toe with him. with a Bachelor’s of Economics from UCLA, a Master’s of Business Administration from USC, and his CPA (Certified Public Accountant), Schmid is well educated and looks to outsmart his opponents in this smack down. Not to mention that...well...he is way bigger than anyone else he’ll face.
Weaknesses: Sigi struggles to finish what he started. He is known to pick a fight that he can’t finish, only to have someone else swoop in as the hero and finish the job. Also, due to his lack of cardio, he will need this fight to be short and sweet. If it drags on, he will quickly lose stamina and lose the size advantage that he previously enjoyed.
Special Move: “The Calculator.” Schmid uses his superior intellect and size to calculate the time and velocity of your attack and use your momentum against you in a fierce counter-attack. Just when you think you have him where you want him, he ducks out of sight and out of mind just to come flying back at you with a counter-attack.
Contender #7: Mike “Freakin” Petke
Weight: 191 lbs
Strengths: Mike Petke is from the mean streets of Bohemia, New York. Which, according to neighborhoodscout.com is only safer than 38% of other cities in the US, so that’s something. Armed with his thick New York accent and a chip on his shoulder the size of the New York Red Bulls, this guy is ready to go to battle with any coach, player, ref or printer that falls out of his favor. When this guy goes to battle few dare stand in his way, most tend to run as far away as possible before throwing a “shoosh” in his direction or exiting the arena as quickly as possible.
Weaknesses: Petke’s passion for battle and his anger at injustice can cause momentary black outs, where in an instant he can forget where the toner is, or start blindly throwing printed images at the nearest unsuspecting Vice President of Broadcast and PR. This weakness, while rarely left unchecked, can cause him to be suspended or fined in a more gentlemanly battle unlike this particular brawl.
Special Move: “The Truth Will Set You Free.” Given Petke’s propensity to tell you the cold hard truth, his specialty move is a scathing assessment of your own deficiencies. Whether you are an overpaid center forward, an out of shape winger, or an MLS ref who swallows your whistle during a clear foul on a break-away; Mike Petke will give you a tongue lashing like you have never before experienced, and one that will set you free from any sense of ignorance you once held. Behold the power of the Petke, with a twist ending you may have not seen before.
We ran our analysis through 1.8 billion simulations and we have our victor. In a brawl that saw the likes of Caleb Porter cry, Pablo Mastroeni beg for help, and Sigi Schmid die unexpectedly not from a battle wound, but rather a heart attack we have our champion.
RSL men Jason Kreis and Mike Petke both showed very well for themselves with Kreis delivering significant damage throughout the coaching ranks. Pound for pound he was the best fighter. But, similar to his career, his size kept him from going as far as his talent should have permitted. Petke made it to the final 3 through his cunning and charm before succumbing to wounds inflicted by a cheap shot from Peter Vermes.
When the dust settled, New York City FC’s Patrick Vieira came out on top. Annihilating anyone that dared to stand in his way. The perfect combination of size, strength, and strategy made him no match for his opponents. Rumor has it that upon hearing of Vieira’s victory, Roy Keane has signed on to be the head coach of the next MLS expansion team, no matter what city ends up getting their bid approved.
Think we overlooked something in our analysis? Feel free to opine in the comments section and let the war rage on!