Soccer MLS

5 MLS Head Coaches On The Hot Seat Heading Into 2014 Season

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5 MLS Head Coaches on the Hot Seat Heading into 2014 Season

MLS Coaches
Eric Hartline-USA Today Sports

The 2014 MLS season is less than two weeks away. As fans and team prepare for First Kick on March 8, the pressure is on some teams to shine. As a result, at least five MLS head coaches are on the hot seat before the 2014 season begins

While some of these hot seats are really only lukewarm at this point, they could be sizzling by midseason or season's end. No matter the situation at this point, these coaches will be hoping that their team's success on paper will carry over to the field. If this does not happen, these coaches should start packing their bags before the fans bring their pitchforks.

Last year, some fans wanted a few of these coaches to be fired, but management was smart to let them have one more season to find success and please the fans. In the offseason, a few made smart and sound decisions through signing designated players and filling their needs through both trades and the 2014 SuperDraft.

Without further ado, find out which five head coaches are on the hot seat heading into the 2014 MLS season. Some will succeed and cool down their hot seat, while others will burn until they are whisked out by their team's respective management.

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5. Mike Petke

Mike Petke NY Red Bulls
Brad Penner-USA Today Sports

After leading the New York Red Bulls to winning the 2013 Supporters Shield, his team cannot afford to be content this season and miss the playoffs. If they do, Petke should be fired no questions asked. New York has proven veterans like Tim Cahill and Thierry Henry, so their attack should have no issues in 2014, but opposing defenses could stop them and force Petke out of a job.

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4. John Hackworth

John Hackworth Philadelphia Union
Brad Mills-USA Today Sports

With great offseason moves, an experienced young core of players, and No. 1 goal of making the playoffs, the Philadelphia Union are set on paper. However, games are played on the field, so the Union's players will need to mesh from day one or else John Hackworth could be sacked.

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3. Sigi Schmid

Sigi Schmid Seattle Sounders
Steven Bisig-USA Today Sports

The Western Conference is ultra-competitive with teams like the Portland Timbers, Colorado Rapids, FC Dallas, Real Salt Lake and perennial stalwarts L.A. Galaxy. Seattle can't afford to drop crucial points at home. If Dempsey fails to play to his full potential and the defense falls apart, Sigi Schmid could be chased out of CenturyLink Stadium during the season or come October.

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2. Ben Olsen

Ben Olsen DC United
Brad Mills-USA Today Sports

During the offseason, Olsen and United brought in new players and got rid of ineffective players like Dwayne De Rosario and James Riley who did not fit their system. Bill Hamid's presence remains between the posts and Eddie Johnson looks to succeed in a new scenery. This team cannot afford to have a repeat of 2013, but they most likely won't. In addition, Olsen will be on the hot seat until this team clinches a playoff berth. Not making the playoffs this year will be inexcusable for Olsen.

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1. Ryan Nelsen

Ryan Nelsen Toronto FC
Greg M. Cooper-USA Today Sports

Ryan Nelsen somehow found a way to bring in both Jermain Defoe and Michael Bradley to Toronto FC, and he did it in the same week. Add Brazil's No. 1 goalie Julio Cesar, and Toronto has a star international player in three of their four main positions. However, this puts immense pressure on Nelsen as he must rise up to the occasion and lead Toronto to the playoffs. If he fails to do so, he might as well cross the border and file for admittance into the Witness Protection Program.