After his stint as the coach of the homegrown team at this year's MLS All Star team, it seems that Landon Donovan may be interested in beginning a coaching career. He revealed in an interview this week that "in the last month I’ve talked a lot to my agent and my wife about starting to get the itch to coach. I’m not sure what that means and at what level but I’ve started to get that itch."
There is precedent for MLS Players making the leap to the coaching ranks within the league (think Jason Kreis, Oscar Pareja, Pablo Mastroeni, among others). Some have fared well (see Kreis) while others' main accomplishment is holding on to a job that most thought should be in jeopardy (see Mastroeni). Because of his early retirement, Donovan is still young (he's only 33), so he's got good years ahead of him.
Players becoming coaches is not at all unique in elite world soccer. Barcelona has found great success in recent years having former players lead the club (Pep Guardiola and Luis Enrique). While no one is saying MLS teams are on a level with Barcelona, might there be something to learn from their process? Are there teams in MLS who have enough of a cohesive playing identity that it would be to their advantage to promote a long-time player into the coaching role? Could the Galaxy groom Donovan to take over for Bruce Arena when he returns to rescue the USMNT after the Klinsmann debacle?
So what do you think? Does Landon Donovan have the potential to grow into becoming a great coach in MLS? Where would you want to see him make his entry into coaching at the adult level? Would you want him to coach a USL side or begin as an assistant for an MLS team? Or is he ready now to take over for a Chicago or Colorado? Let us know in the comments below.