Friday, January 18, 2008

Steve McClaren open to MLS coaching job

Steve McClaren, last seen getting sack-beaten by the whole of England, says he learned a lot during his 18-months in charge of the national team and that he is very interested in returning to coaching. He would prefer to return to the Premier League, but is willing to go anywhere as long as the team can challenge for the top spot in their league.

"I'm not going to rush into anything. I want to make sure it's right and the right thing is someone who is ambitious and who can challenge for top spots, whether that's in England or anywhere."

That is when Major League Soccer came into things, saying that he was impressed with what he discovered in America and that he would consider the league as a possibility.

"I'm not dismissing anything and I wouldn't,' he said when asked about the league. 'Football is football and I think the experience is beneficial, whatever country it is in."

I'm sure some of this love had to do with him speaking at a MLS event in Baltimore, but it is still interesting to hear. No doubt he would rather stay in his native country to coach, but he is pretty toxic at the moment. Perhaps he could land a Champions league side, but I just can't see anyone in the EPL think, 'we must have McClaren.'

Over here, he would have a much easier go of it as most people were nowhere near as wrapped up in the results of his last gig. Also, due to the structuring of the rules, any team has a realistic chance at winning the league.

He also spoke about Beckham's play in America and stressed the 'you haven't seen anything yet' line.

"I've said it to him and I've spoken to other people - it's like a new signing all over again. Although you've had the furore of David Beckham coming over off the field, now you get David Beckham on the field and that can only be good for MLS."

I wonder how hard the league is going to push this take on Beckham. I agree fully with the argument but wonder how they will sell it without it sounding like 'we took you for a ride last year, but this time it is legit.' I hope they can do it, but a second wave of hype will be much harder to generate.

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