16 January 2006

Trials. And Tribulations (Reprise).

The Belly is posting on the MLS Combine, and his first three reports are up. Good reading, if not in a "evaluate the prospects" way but to get a sense of the general feel and talent level on display.

The Washington Times has an interview with Coach Nowak, in part reflecting on the end of last season. A few key graphs:

"I was a second-year coach, and I made mistakes," Nowak said this week by telephone from Florida. "We did come up short. Maybe we weren't that hungry, and it was my responsibility to make them hungry. I learned some important lessons, but I can't look back. "

As for the situation with Adu, who was upset about not starting the last game of the regular season and hinted about playing elsewhere, Nowak said he felt it was important to give credit to all his players at the time.

"With the Freddy thing, everyone was talking about what I should do, but if someone had come up to me with the recipe on how to work with Freddy Adu, I would have used it," Nowak said. "Look, I was once the same kid [as Adu]. I was the same rebel. ... There was a misunderstanding, and I've talked to Freddy about it."

It is both refreshing and disturbing for a coach to admit that he was confused about what to do. I'm glad that Nowak at least believes that he has the capacity to make mistakes, but I'm not sure he's identified the correct mistakes yet. "Hunger" is down on my list of complaints. "Subbing patters / In-game adjustments" both rank higher as areas where I think Nowak can improve.