So long, "Clever" Hans
November 12, 2012

In a way, "Clever" Hans Backe was the worst coach in Metro history. After all, he had so much talent but failed to win when it mattered most.

In a way, "Clever" Hans Backe was the best coach in Metro history. After all, he engineered the best turnaround in league history. Two of his three seasons resulted in two of the best three point-per-game totals in team history.

Of course, the answer lies somewhere in-between. Oh, the negatives were many. The playoff failure in 2010 after such a successful regular season still hurts. His lack of subs in 2011 would be comical if it wasn't detrimental; his decision to bail out of the Open Cup was just plain foolish. In 2012... well, we're still reeling from 2012. He didn't exactly win many favorites, in a way.

And yet, during Backe's tenure, Metro never had a losing record. Its three-year streak on the winning side of things is the best in team history. Backe's rope-a-dope earned a playoff victory in Dallas, in a way, and we will always thank him for taking over the dreadful team of 2009 and making it into a quality squad. Oh, and Luke Rodgers. We thank him for a year of Luke Rodgers.

If one watched games closely the past two seasons, one could clearly see that there were two coaches on this team. One stared on the sideline in his trench coat and grizzled beard, the other roamed the field with a maddening look and... well, yes, a beard. In some games, one got the sense that Thierry Henry was the team's real coach, not only telling the players on the field what to do, but telling Backe what should be done. So how much fault and praised should fall on Backe's back is up in the air. And how his successor will deal with the moody Frenchman will go a long way in determining his success.

So long, "Clever" Hans Backe. You will be missed... in a way.

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