Just Like Tom Soehn's Blues

There isn't a less meaningful, more complete waste of time in all of sports than the obligatory "pre-season analysis" article.

Everybody writes one, nobody really knows a thing and a week after the games begin no one remembers what was written, which is usually a blessing since invariably they turn out to have been not just wrong but, occasionally, borderline ridiculous.

This is pretty much the case this season where, from opening day (or, as they call it in the Caribbean "Day O") almost nothing at all has gone according to form.

Nowhere is this more in evidence than in the prospects for continued employment of several prominent MLS coaches and, conversely, the suddenly safe-and-comfy chairs currently occupied by guys like Sigi Schmid and Fernando Clavijo, who you figured would be lucky to still have a job on June 1.

SHAKA HISLOP MAKES THE LATTER POINT in his new weekly column (which is, for my money, among the best regular commentaries on MLS anywhere.) Some guys you thought were pretty secure are likely snapping at the wife and kicking the dog these days, while some other coaches who appeared to be on very thin ice suddenly look like candidates for cushy new contracts.

I kept thinking about all of this during last nights DC/NE match which started out so promisingly for DC coach Tom Soehn and ended up with him looking for all the world like the proverbial deer in the headlights after a late game collapse that he knew wasn't going to go down well amongst the District faithful.

Put another way, by the final whistle you could almost smell the bonfires and pots of tar heating up all over Northern Virginia.

And of course, making matters worse is Bruce Arena, who's happily telling anyone who'll listen that he's tan, rested, tired of golf and "thinking about getting back into coaching"

And anyone who thinks that means he's over at Kinkos faxing his resume to Dave Checketts or Adrian Hanauer doesn't know il Bruce. There's only one job he wants, and Tom Soehn is currently hanging on to it by his fingernails.

In a perverse sort of a way, you almost wish for a Steve Morrow type of disaster, something like the 5 - 0 blowout that precipitated the clean kill he suffered in Dallas. Watching Soehn slowly bleed to death isn't a pretty sight.

There's an old expression about how a coach in trouble "shouldn't send out his laundry". In Soehn's case, he probably should think twice before sending out for pizza.