After the rumored list of 10 names for the Real Salt Lake coaching job was leaked, we started an informal poll inviting readers to list their choices from 1-10 (or none of the above). As a followup to the earlier article, here’s the results of that reader poll.
Top Reader Picks (in descending order)
1: Landon Donovan - 3.5 average. A result that may come as a surprise to some (it did to me...); I did not believe that many RSL fans would want Donovan as coach, but here we are.
2: Pablo Mastroeni - 3.8 average. I guess the adage is “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”? Pablo’s made some good changes that seem to be working for now, but can it last? The coaching search is likely to go on for a little while yet so we’ll likely have a one or two more games under Pablo to see how things shake out (see below).
3: Jason Kreis - 5.1 average. Comments crossed the gamut with Kreis, some would absolutely have him back others rode the “been there, done that” bus. Where do you stand?
4: Javier Morales - 5.4 average. Perhaps it’s nostalgia fever that wants to bring Javi back home? Some of the comments seem to deviate from poll results.
5: Jamison Olave - 5.5 average. We’ve seen Olave as coach for the Monarchs for a while now, and he’s won the USL championship with them. The question is can it translate to MLS? It’s interesting to note that all 3 former RSL players are clustered together in the poll.
6: Dominic Kinnear - 6.3 average. The most experienced name on the list comes in 6th. Perhaps most of the survey responders weren’t following MLS when Houston Dynamo were a really good team.
7: Pat Noonan - 6.4 average. The 2nd most experienced name from the list. But RSL fans may want to look him up...
Pat Noonan is currently in Utah for a second interview for #RSL’s open head coaching position, sources tell @TheAthleticSCCR.— Jeff Rueter (@jeffrueter) September 20, 2021
Noonan has been an assistant in Philadelphia (#DOOP) since 2018 and previously coached with Bruce Arena at LA Galaxy and the USMNT.
8: Steve Cherundolo - 6.9 average. I think one reader from Reddit said it best: “Cherundolo sounds interesting although I know nothing about him, except I just looked up the Las Vegas lights record and makes me a bit skeptical.”
9: Mark Briggs - 7.0 average. Similar to Olave, Briggs is a known commodity for RSL. He started the Monarchs on a path that led to wining titles, but he’s untested in MLS.
10: Rob Valentino - 7.4 average. Valentino likely suffers from the “who?” syndrome. He didn’t have a long MLS career, and his experience as a coach has been confined to one team in the Eastern Conference. It’s no surprise that very few RSL fans would have heard of him.
And lastly with 8.8 average came “none of the above”. There were some write in votes and comments made for Mike Petke to return, Jimmy Lozano, Mourinho, and the recently fired coach from FC Dallas Luchi. There were also the shoot-for-the-moon suggestions for Jurgen Klopp.
One survey respondent had this to say: “... in all seriousness I want someone with experience in the mls and not academies or 2nd division. Not saying someone like Javi or Donovan won’t be successful but my preference is a experienced coach like Kinnear or Noonan.”
So where do you stand on the selections? So far it looks like Noonan has the inside track, but we don’t know who else made the 2nd round yet. Comment below with your thoughts, wishes and opinions, and stay tuned - with a break coming up in early October things may move fast in the next two weeks!