Dear Erik Stover,
When you are in command of people, tough and inevitable decisions must sometimes be made. A time when the benefit of the unit outweighs the benefits of the individual. That time for your “unit,” Mr. Stover, is now.
It is time to put an end the Jeff Agoos-Juan Carlos Osorio team that has run the franchise the last season and a half–for the benefit of your organization, its fans and its future. The hopes and goals of this franchise cannot and will not be fulfilled under its current course. Consider the following bullet points:
I know this is something the organization craves. Many feel the constant coaching and managerial changes have crippled progress for this franchise. I happen to believe this assumption, however sticking to your guns is in itself an empty virtue. More important is finding and sticking with the gun that delivers success and progress.
The Agoos-Osorio tandem has indeed brought consistency, but consistency of the wrong kind: losing, which we can all agree is not what we are looking for. We can make excuses or deflect accountability, but the fact is that ever since your predecessor’s grand folly of poaching Osorio and appointing Agoos, this team has been in steady decline.
Mr Stover, I firmly agree in the general premise your organization wants to establish, however we need to do that with the right leadership. The merits here have shown fairly convincingly that Agoos-Osorio are not the right leadership.
You have stated that you understand this is to be a results business. As such it is only fair to highlight the results since the Agoos-Osorio takeover. The 2008 season can really only be described as sub par. When they took over this team we had just finished third in the Eastern Conference with a capable sqaud that only really needed minor additions, primarily on defense.
In 2008, Osorio’s team finished with 39 points, which places them well in the bottom half historically for this franchise, and fifth place in the East. Osorio’s first season with New York saw him turn in a worse performance than 2007 by two places in the table and four points.
Yes, we all know about the playoff run, but that string of (really just two) results were very out of character for this team, as evidenced by this year’s performace.
In 2009, the table doesn’t lie. This is statistically the worst season in the history of the franchise–yes, at the current pace even worse than the crippling 1999 season.
Osorio’s overall record in league play since taking control: 12-23-13. Yes, Osorio has lost twice as many games as he has won and even drawn more games than he was won. That equates to a 1.02 points-per-game total.
Where does that rank amoung Metro/Red Bull coaches all time? Only behind Bora in 1999.
3. Player Signings
There are few ways for a coach to more effectively influence a team than in crafting its roster. The success both long term and short term of a club is directly tied to the talent the coach identifies and signs. To this end, we can not pretend that Agoos and Osorio are doing the job.
Pietravallo, Rojas, Cichero, Smith, Pacheco, Johnson, etc. These players have all failed in Major League Soccer and with our team. As a result of the scouting and signings, this team has become crippled with sub standard talent.
Either the players are not up to par, or the coach is not utilizing them properly. In any event, the blame here falls directly on the shoulders of the Agoos-Osorio team.
I could go on (and on), but i think it’s best to leave it at this. There are a lot of people in your organization whose jobs are on the line, maybe even your own. This coaching deficiency is making everyone’s job harder and vulnerable. At this point the only wise and prudent course is to make the tough decision and give Agoos and Osorio their walking papers before they do any more permantant damage to this team. (Getting knocked out of the CONCACAF Champions League comes to mind)
We need to have Ritchie Williams take over as interim coach while we identify potential replacements. Those replacements should be on board by this fall so they have plenty of time to shape the team for next season.
In the end, there is no justifiable reason for keeping Osorio and Agoos any longer. They have had plenty of chances to make right and have failed with all of them. I know that firing people is hard, that you may like them as individuals and may not want to do it for any number of other reasons–but there are also a lot of other people with careers who are counting on you too, who will lose their jobs as well if the team continues its current course. You have a duty to the organization and to its fans to do what is right and what is best for the franchise.