Dash add DiCicco as consultant, not coach

Meg Linehan December 27, 2013 35

The Houston Dash announced Friday that Tony DiCicco, former head coach of the U.S. women’s national team, has been hired to serve as a consultant. DiCicco will assist Dash president Chris Canetti and recently announced managing director Brian Ching on the search for a head coach and the first players for the team’s roster.

As previously reported by The Equalizer, Mia Hamm is also consulting the club.

DiCicco had expressed interest in coaching in the National Women’s Soccer League, and according to reports, had interview for the position in Houston.

“I am excited about the opportunity to consult for the Houston Dash and work with Chris Canetti and Brian Ching while they interview for a coach and build a roster,” DiCicco said in a release. “The Dash are creating an excellent situation for players to train and play and I have been very impressed with how the Houston Dynamo organization is behind the Dash playing in the NWSL.”

[MORE: NWSL owners react to NWSL expansion, Houston Dash]

With the clock ticking down to the NWSL College Draft on January 17th, DiCicco will offer Canetti and Ching a dedicated women’s soccer resource without being forced to hire a head coach immediately. Previously, Canetti had expressed hopes to have the coach hired by Christmas, and indicated that the head coach would be in charge of all player signings.  DiCicco could still be in his advisory role through the expansion draft, the date for which is still forthcoming.

Based on Friday’s hiring, it looks like the first coach in Houston may already have the start of a roster before he or she arrives.

  • Jigsawwill

    Well well well…

  • newsouth

    Not very good as a club coach but a 90% winning record as a NT coach. Didn’t some users on here say, a high school coach would win with the NT? Anyway, I hear it was a money thing, guess he asked for too much and Houston pulled records on his Boston tenure.

    • newsouth

      Speaking of Boston, Sydney Leroux, Canadian-born American soccer player and Olympic gold medalist, said she looks up to teammate Abby Wambach as her role model, according to a report by StarGazzette.com. Oh brother!

      • AshleyWB

        Is it painful when you encounter information that doesn’t fit neatly into your self-contained view of the world? Or are you so practiced at self-deception you don’t even notice?

        • newsouth

          You’re reading too deep into my comments when I’m just playing the fringes. But proceed anyway.

          • guest

            When are you going to bring your friends from EQ over to BS?

          • kaiser

            When are you going to the stop hiding behind the cowardly name “guest” ? You sir ,are a punk.

          • kaiser

            Doesn’t take much to be “kaiser” either. Look, even I can do it.

      • Silver Frost

        Why do you think Syd gets major playing time in friendlies? It stands to reason she is under the control of Abbster.

        • guest

          Yep. Abby is a power-hungry bitch.

        • newsouth

          Sad state on this team. Wambach should be bowing out disgracefully (she’ll never do it the other way) but instead the young talent has to butter up to her. What’s next? Press is going to say, Wambach was a wonderful coach at MJ and inspiration to the non-NT players.

    • guest

      But FC USWNT is pretty much a club though, right newsouth?

  • FCKCEvans

    Yes I’m curious as to why, if they value his opinion so much they didn’t hire him as the coach. Money? Age? I thought he’d be the obvious hire for that position even with a shaky club history.

    • STT

      Age, potentially, though I could also see them valuing his soccer smarts but thinking he doesn’t handle player management on a personal level very well.

    • kernel_thai

      Money. Control. I could see DiCicco wanting both.

    • Silver Frost

      Maybe the difference is in level of discipline expected in a pro team versus the WNT. Tony strikes me as the kind of coach who demands discipline, which pampered independent minded pros can’t stand. Too hard to get pros on the same page.

      • jarnormalchicken

        NWSL pros are “pampered”?? They could probably make more money working in food service.

        • kernel_thai

          Or at least they could make more working full time in food service.

  • Elaine

    Could this hire of DiCicco as a consultant be a prelude to him stepping in as coach, sort of like let’s see what he can bring but don’t want to offer the top job to him just yet. I mean they already have Mia to advise them and now it’s Tony. It just doesn’t make sense to have him there and make decisions as to the draft and player signings without the actual coach there.

    • kernel_thai

      But it does make sense to an extent. While u dont want him building a roster another coach has to live with, u also cant afford to be sitting on ur hands. DiCicco knows the women’s game and could be putting together scouting on free agents and college players. This is work that gets harder to complete the longer they wait to get the coach in place. I really cant see them not having a coach by the expansion draft, DiCicco or not.

      • Elaine

        I would only believe that Tony doesn’t want the job and is happy to just be a consultant if he himself had not expressed interest in coaching again. Remember, he also applied for that head coaching job for England WNT. I’m with Silver Frost there. Tony wants to coach, but Houston may have doubts. We will see if Houston will get a head coach in by the expansion draft. If not I think it goes to Tony.

        • Steglitz49

          Is there a Mexican (or hispanic) coach who could be appointed? S/he need not be famous or even well known, though for PR purposes it would be better if there was something to latch on to.

          • Lorehead

            That’s pretty crass, but to answer your question, there are indeed a few. I could see Houston being a better fit than Boston and elsewhere for a number of the Mexican players who didn’t get playing time last year.

          • Steglitz49

            Boston is not a good fit for anyone. I expect them to finish last this season.

            As for crass, this is business, not pleasure. If a hispanic coach would bring jn the punters, more power to her elbow.

        • kernel_thai

          I still think it came down to terms. DiCicco wanted more than Houston was prepared to give. This is his fall back position. With the extremely short time frame I see no advantage to establishing urself as a consultant to better ur chances at the coaching position. That only works if they plan to drag the search out well into the new year, which would be a disaster.

          • ctsmith73

            I’m thinking they need warm bodies immediately to investigate options for the roster. Very little time, a lot of ground to cover, you probably want as many people on the case as possible and then they can at least hand the incoming coach a binder with the results.

    • Silver Frost

      Yes, Elaine. Tony is going through a trial run to see if he can gel with management. No incoming coach is going to accept a roster put together by someone else. Unless his contract with Houston precludes it, I’d bet Tony is a contender for the job.

  • Steglitz49

    There seems to be a dog buried here if not a whole kennel.

  • kernel_thai

    I think it’s a great hire. He knows the womens game and is very good judge of talent. If they arent ready to name a coach this at least provides an expert to help Ching evaluate college players and expansion draft candidates. It also lets them explorer potential discovery players tho I doubt theyd sign anyone without a coach in place unless she was a guaranteed home run. The clock is ticking and this shows Houston realizes it.

  • Rufan

    The original report early this month of his interest in a job stated “his television analyst duties with ESPN and SoccerPlus, his camps and training business”,

    If these are doing well, why a full time Club coaching job? Does anyone know the going rate for head coaches in the league?

  • nwslfan

    Can the Dash pry away a serious business college coach? A Swanson, a Krikorian? Unlikely, unless money is big. As I side note, I looked at winning-est coaches and see Carin Gabarra has over 250 wins in ncaa D1. FCSB’s Jim Gabarra gets an inside edge with free consulting with that connection.

    • almost jaded

      I’m wondering whether they’re still negotiating with a college coach and DiCicco is fallback if terms can’t be reached. I’d add Waldrum to your list, and would guess the hire hinges on the coach keeping their college gig in addition to the Dash job. There is near-precedent. e.g., Amanda Cromwell, who played on the WUSA while also coaching UCF. It would have to be someone with strong assistant coaches to absorb many of the off-season college duties, as well as someone without kids still at home. That scenario would make the NWSL salary less of a sticking point.

      • nwslfan

        agree. impressed w what Cromwell has done at UCF and UCLA.

    • STT

      Until NWSL proves to be stable, I doubt a successful college coach would be willing to try it out.

  • dj

    maybe Mia Hamm is against him and has told management so.