Process MapSince I'm an engineer, I am intrigued by the process that Rob Clark will use when he hires the next head coach of the Rhinos.

If I were to embark on this journey, I would try and be as methodical as possible.

The first thing I would try and do is lay out all the various requirements that it would take to be a highly successful coach for my team which plays in a unique environment in Rochester, NY and in second division North American soccer.

For requirement ideas, I not only would go about brainstorming my own ideas, but I'd try and get ideas from a variety of sources like the Pitch Invasion posts by Peter Wilt (I'd probably e-mail Peter to pick his mind, as well) to people around the Rhinos that would have some quality input, to people around the USL and MLS that might be willing to help me out.

I would probably even get a small Fan Advisory Board together to bounce ideas off of, as well.  

After I was relatively happy with my list of requirements, I'd then go about the process of giving weights to each of the requirements. For instance, I might put a higher importance on the ability for a candidate to work with me and others in the organization than I would their experience as a head coach.

I would then try and bounce my weightings off of those that are willing to be my sounding boards during this process.

Then I would figure out how I want the interview process to work so that I get a good read on how each candidate would score against my list of requirements.

In parallel, I would try and build up a list of potential candidates that would be likely to score well against the requirements that I have. For instance, if some of the most important requirements involve name recognition amongst the fan base, then I'm not going to go after candidates that have no ties to either the Rhinos specifically or Rochester soccer in general.

Once I have the list of potential candidates that I want to talk to and the interview process down, then I'm going to start the interview process. One of the things I like to do when interviewing candidates is get as many people to take part in the interview as possible. I have found that getting a variety of opinions on a candidate tends to improve the likelihood of making a solid hire.

Then I would end up hiring the coach that would add countless trophies to the Rhinos trophy case.

USL vs TOA turmoil

Pitch Invasion

Inside Minnesota Soccer

Triangle Offense

Cary News

Triangle Offense

The USL versus the TOA struggle appears to have taken another turn with reports that Tim Holt as sent an e-mail to players in Miami, Carolina, and Minnesota saying that they are no longer under contract to their clubs as the clubs have not re-upped with the league for the 2010 season.

There are reports that players in Vancouver and Montreal will get the same e-mail once their playoff runs are over 7 days from today.

I e-mailed Tim Holt on Saturday morning about these reports and he had no comment at that time.

Obviously, it appears that the USL is trying to call the TOA's bluff. Personally, I wonder if this the best strategy to take. I'd tend to approach something like this with the old cliche of attracting more bees with honey than vinegar in my mind.

One thing hasn't changed and that is the fact that it will likely be one long, wild ride this off season with this issue getting worked, along with the Rhinos hiring a new head coach.

News & Notes:

- Devo has a transcription of his interview with Darren Tilley up on his blog. It is makes for a very interesting read. The toughest thing to debate is the player budget issue as there has never been complete transparency when it comes to player salaries in the USL. The MLS Players Association releases player salary details every season, so it is easy to dissect year to year spending and how well a team is spending their money. Until the USL is as open as MLS, it will be hard to really have clarity with regards to situations like this one.

- It will be an All-Canadian (and All-TOA) USL 1st Division final with Vancouver and Montreal advancing last evening. I'll go with the Whitecaps in a repeat.

- It will be interesting to see if the next premier soccer stadium in the US will help the Red Bulls draw fans. It can't hurt.

- Here is an interesting look at how there might not be as much parity in MLS as the single entity structure would have people believe. I still think that HOW you spend money is more important than how much you spend.

- Speaking of the ultimate example of spending money not always working until you spend it on the right players, Andrea Canales looks at the Galaxy finally getting back into the MLS playoffs.

- It doesn't make me feel better than England fans are having some of the same issues as US fans when it comes to getting WCQs on TV. The closest spot to view US-Honduras listed on US right now is in Albany. Really?

- Here is some good news, though. Celso Borges is out for Costa Rica.

- Freddy Adu made his first appearance in a league match for his new club. It's doubtful that he made a huge impression since the match ended in a scoreless draw.

- and The Kartik Report both did a post mortum on the US entry into the U-20 World Cup in Egypt. It will be very interesting to see what happens to Thomas Rongen and the U-20 program moving forward.

The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author, and not necessarily those of the Rochester Rhinos or Feel free to send any comments or complaints to James promises to read (but not to respond) to all of them.