The Montreal Impact is not the only MLS team without a head coach, at least officially.Its first opponent in 2014 , FC Dallas, still has not signed a new head coach since Schellas Hyndman stepped down. But options for the 2012 expansion club are pretty much simple and straight forward.
Status Quo: Marco Schallibaum
Contractually, Schallibaum is still the Montreal Impact head coach. One way or another, he will get paid (fully or not) as either the active coach or via a ''parting ways'' settlement.
The line between fact and fiction could be very thin but looking back at the 2013 season, it's pretty clear. A rookie head coach in MLS was able to take a second year expansion club into first place in the league, by the mid-season point.
That same coach also ended up taking the same team, with the same players, into an uncontrollable free fall. What went wrong exactly should take you to a proportional distribution of blame among management, players and the coaching staff.
The Impact like Schallibaum the Man, or else he would not have lasted the season. Joey Saputo and Nick De Santis must not like Schallibaum the Tactician as the Swiss head coach did not seem to prove himself indispensable.
But the latest from Schallibaum's agent is that they have not heard from the club yet.
Lateral Move or Breath of Fresh Air : Mauro Biello
The heir apparent to the head coaching throne is evidently Mauro Biello. Whether it's in 2014 or later, the ex-NASL star offensive midfielder and Impact legend will get his turn and sit on the Iron throne. Currently an assistant coach, Biello will become the head coach of the Montreal Impact, whether it's right away or later.
Taking over as interim head coach during the 2012 offseason, Biello did not shy away from declaring that he was ready to take out the interim tag from his title. He is evidently being groomed to take over eventually but when is the right time for Biello and the club?
Director-Head Coaches Need Not Apply
This basically means that with the current structure of the Montreal Impact, the typical MLS Head Coach / Director cannot co-exist with Nick De Santis. Both sides would be mutually exclusive as the current modus operandi of the Impact has the coach performing coaching duties only.
Nick De Santis and Matt Jordan would take care and supervise player procurement, MLS trades and such.In Schallibaum's case, he came in too late to have a substantial input into the decision process as per recruitement. He basically coached with the squad that was given to him on January 2013.
But whoever the Impact get, he will definitely not have the Jesse Marsch profile, even though the then rookie head coach had expansion duties to help build the club. That potential new coach would not evne have the profile of a Frank Klopas or Gregg Berhalter, just recently named Sporting Director and Head Coach of the Columbus Crew.
Looking at the tendency around the league with coaches/directors such as Peter Vermes and Frank Yallop, it's doubtful to see those kind of coaches considered for the head coach position.
But when do we start talking about player procurement? One must ask about the quality of the players and how much depth did the Schallibaum had to work with. The club has always disregarded the Expansion tag and obviously wanted to win right away.
This does not take away some of the excellent signings the club has made. But the Impact must also objectively look at some of its mistakes and bolster the squad, whether it's with Schallibaum or someone else.
Can the Impact find the right candidate while managing expectations?
What is your option for the Montreal Impact? Do you want Marco Schallibaum back?