Sigi Schmid, Fernando Clavijo, Mo Johnston. They've all coached multiple MLS teams with average or below average levels of success. They will all likely get more chances to succeed in MLS, either with their current teams or someone else who's willing to pull them out of the recycle bin. There's also John Hackworth, who flopped at the U17 World Cup, only to get kicked upstairs into an assistant job with the full national team. How does that work?
Ian Plenderleith surmises that it's because "there’s a shortage of really good" coaches out there, barring bringing in a big name expensive coach from overseas or dipping into the college ranks (which he seems to not endorse). I have to disagree, there are quality coaches out there. They just aren't getting the chance because the same coaches keep getting rehired after they couldn't cut it in the first place.
He seems to dismiss taking a chance on someone like Cobi Jones or Eddie Pope. Preki would like to wave hello at this point, look at the job he did with Chivas USA in his first year as the top man (second year as a coach after his apprenticeship with Bradley in 2006). Peter Nowak won the 2004 MLS Cup in his first year, and a Supporters' Shield in his third. Bringing in a former pro as a coach would just increase the potential pool, rather than say that the pool isn't up to the task.
Look at people in the pool who haven't received a chance as a head coach. Denis Hamlett received his 'A' license in 1997, has been the lead assistant for Chicago since 2001, and was only able to keep the seat warm for Juan Carlos Osorio after Dave Sarachan was let go. Oscar Pareja has been an assistant in Dallas for the past two years, his valuable international experience could be very helpful to a number of teams in the league. Paul Mariner has been Steve Nicol's right hand man in New England for four years. With all of the love for English coaches in America, why hasn't this veteran of the English national team received a chance? American veterans Richie Williams and John Harkes have went through their apprenticeship in New York, when do they get a chance?
I came up with list in about five minutes, can you imagine if there was actually some big research involved?
There are plenty of potentially great coaches sitting right here in America waiting for the opportunity. However, the same small group of retreads keep getting jobs. The "good ol' boy" network is in full effect, and it's hurting our sport in this country.