Coyle out to prove foreign coaches can thrive in MLS

Thu Mar 5, 2015 5:09pm EST
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By Simon Evans

(Reuters) - Scottish manager Owen Coyle, who takes charge of Houston Dynamo this season, believes that with the right approach there is no reason why a foreign manager can't succeed in Major League Soccer.

Some high-profile foreign flops, including Dutchmen Ruud Gullit and Aron Winter, have added to the perception that a coach must "know the league" to win in MLS.

"Of course there are rules and intricacies - but there are rules in every league and when all is said and done it is eleven versus eleven," Coyle told Reuters in an interview.

"The game is the same game. If you come in with your eyes open and be respectful of what is going on then you get to understand it."

With 'designated players,' a transfer system unlike any other, a salary cap and collective bargaining agreement, MLS can be baffling for a newcomer from abroad.

Understandably, the complexities of MLS have led most clubs to entrust their head coaching jobs to Americans, often former players in the league, and avoid foreign coaches.

Coyle has been busy learning the rules, helped by Houston’s experienced backroom staff.

He believes it is worth investing the time in adjusting to MLS's sometimes Byzantine rules because he sees the league as one that is growing rapidly into a force within the game.   Continued...

Owen Coyle gestures during an Europa League soccer match at Jan Breydel stadium in Bruges September 19, 2013. REUTERS/Laurent Dubrule