Atlanta Manager Firing Sets Precedent for NASL, Scorpions

With Atlanta sacking Brian Haynes, it sets a dangerous precedent for NASL managers, especially Scorpions manager Alen Marcina
by Chris Hockman   |   Friday, December 13, 2013

Defending The Fort - column on San Antonio Scorpions (SASFC) & the San Antonio soccer scene.

Last Friday, the Atlanta Silverbacks announced the sacking of their manager Brian Haynes, who was the winner of the NASL Coach of the Year award and the 2013 NASL opening season.

But evidently that was not enough.

The repercussions of the decision are sure to continue for a long time until Atlanta's new coach is announced, which is sure to be a bitterly fought battle with Haynes already taking shots at Atlanta's management in the media.

Haynes was well deserving of the Coach of the Year award (note: He was this writer's vote) after turning around the worst team in the league in 2012 into a trophy-winning side, but apparently a loss in the SoccerBowl after an uninspired second season was too far for Haynes.

It seemed that Haynes was dismissed due to the side's poor performance in the spring season, which can't be argued since the performance was very poor. But this was a team that had nothing to gain and nothing to lose. They were already qualified for the Championship and coming in first or last would not have changed anything.

That would be a challenge for any manager, even the best managers in the world, with no incentive to win, and no punishment for losing it's easy to understand Haynes' anger about the dismissal.

What is worrying is what this means for other NASL clubs, with a ludicrously short 10 match – possibly 9 matches with Virginia's departure – season deciding the host of the SoccerBowl, it's going to be probably even harder to keep players motivated in 2014.

It's especially worrying for Scorpions manager Alen Marcina, and while the Scorpions have shown themselves to be clearly different to Atlanta in this regard, the question remains: What is good enough?

Based on the Scorpions hiring of Marcina, coming last is good enough, but that seems doubtful. He's been given the chance and has to take it. A repeat of his first chance in the first half season would spell the end for Marcina.

What Haynes dismissal does is make the appointment of Marcina all the more frustrating, as it would seem winning the league isn't good enough for Atlanta, but coming last is for the Scorpions.

Perhaps Haynes can take solace in the first ever Sydney FC coach, Pierre Litbarski, who suffered the same fate, getting sacked after winning his side the championship.


Univ W. Sydney & Youthworks Coll.
Club Domestic:
Houston Dynamo, San Antonio Scorpions, Austin Aztex
Club Foreign:
Central Coast Mariners
Originally from Australia found football (or soccer as you Yanks call it) a great connection in a new country. Freelance writer since 2005 covering Australian and US Soccer. Based out of San Antonio but can regularly be seen in Houston, Austin and Dallas.