It’s still unclear whether Oscar Pareja is leaving this off-season to Club Tijuana, but that hasn’t stopped people from throwing names out as potential replacements. Some are obvious and should be taken into consideration to some degree (Marco Ferruzi and Luchi Gonzalez), the rest border on insanity like DJT suggesting raking (yes, raking) can help prevent wildfires.
Caleb Porter has consistently popped up on the interwebs as someone that should come in and take over for Papi. I can see why Porter would be attractive on the surface; 1 MLS Cup, 1 Conference Final and has finished 1st in the West twice. If that’s all you point to, you’re overlooking some glaring deficiencies of Porter’s as a head coach and how he fits within the FC Dallas culture and system.
People have touted Akron days and his tenure as the USMNT U-23 head coach has his history and experience developing young players. That’s bull.
Darlington Nagbe did come from Akron under Porter’s tenure, and of course, the US International has had a fine career. But he’s the outlier of an otherwise checkered history with player development.
That U23 team under Porter? That team, which featured these players: Bill Hamid, Sean Johnson, Ike Opara, Perry Kitchen, Zarek Valentin, Freddy Adu, Mix Diskerud, Juan Agudelo, Joe Corona, Brek Shea, Teal Bunbury, Jorge Villafana, Terrence Boyd, and Amobi Okugo, failed to qualify for the Olympics. This team finished 3rd in a group with El Salvador, Canada and Cuba. Third.
But wait, there’s more!
Draft Picks Under Porter
|2014||1||Schillo Tshuma||Forward||0||St. Louis FC|
|2016||1||Ben Polk||Forward||0||Orlando City B|
|2016||2||Neco Brett||Forward||1||Pittsburgh Riverhounds|
Out of 10 players selected in the MLS SuperDraft, there was a combined 37 appearances between all of them. Perhaps most damning of all is Aaron Long, who just won MLS Defender of the Year and played exactly 0 minutes for Porter.
Shall I keep going?
Are you aware that in one normal game, FC Dallas will start as many Homegrown players as Portland has ever signed? I’m not kidding. Portland has in their entire history signed three (3!!!) Homegrowns, with only Marco Farfan coming under Porter’s tenure. The other two were signed this year by current head coach Giovanni Savarese.
So why is this bad?
FC Dallas has invested millions upon millions in their youth development pipeline and their Academy. In nearly a decade, Dallas has gone all in with their youth development plan, churning professionals like they’re pre-assembled coming off a conveyor belt. The culture of having the Academy players train with the first team for all these years is starting to pay dividends and with the recently launched USL team, Dallas has now doubled down in getting more of their youth players a chance to get into professional game environments to further their development.
Dallas has been about the long game, developing their own and taking their time to build a winning team. Porter’s history as a head coach is the exact opposite. Porter is about winning now and neglecting development of youth. (I’m not saying one is better than the other, I’m just pointing out a conflict of culture and values.) For FC Dallas to bring in Porter, it would be an abandonment of what they’ve been building on for the better part of a decade.
So please, if you’re going to suggest a coach, please look beyond just what their record is and take a look at their philosophy and values.