HOU_060413_Canetti

Houston Dynamo coaching list narrowed as Giovanni Savarese declines an interview

One name has been removed from the Houston Dynamo’s list of possible contenders for the club's vacant head coaching post, and it was by the candidate’s design.

Speaking with MLSsoccer.com on Tuesday morning, Dynamo president Chris Canetti confirmed a report by EmpireofSoccer.com claiming that New York Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese had declined the option to interview for the club’s vacancy.

“I’ve known Giovanni Savarese for 11 years and I thought he might be a good candidate for the job," Canetti said. "We approached him and he declined the opportunity to pursue the Dynamo head coaching position, because of his happiness in New York.”

Savarese was on a list of candidates, believed to include five names, Canetti submitted to ownership for consideration in the wake of longtime Dynamo coach Dominic Kinnear's departure for the San Jose Earthquakes at the end of the 2014 MLS season.

The Cosmos boss, who won the NASL championship in 2013, has a relationship with Canetti that dates back to their time together with the New York MetroStars (now Red Bulls). However, Savarese chose to remain in his current position as Houston's search continues.

That process has played out over the past month and according to Canetti, there’s no pressure to rush things. Currently candidates are under review by the club’s ownership, which includes the Anschutz Entertainment Group, Gabriel Brener and Oscar De La Hoya.

Thus far only one of those candidates has met with ownership regarding the position. As per his policy during the process, Canetti declined to provide or confirm names. He did confirm that no candidate has been offered the job.

The club’s next move will be to shape their roster, including participating in the league’s Expansion and Re-Entry drafts. Along with Canetti, general manager Matt Jordan, director of soccer operations Nick Kowba and the club’s technical staff have handled those decisions as the club searches for a head coach.

All this underlines that the club is not sticking to a deadline as it seeks the right fit.

“We are looking at various options,” Canetti said. “We’re having conversation internally amongst ourselves and ownership. We’re having conversations externally with candidates and references. We don’t have a deadline; we’re working through the process methodically and meticulously.

“This is a big decision and we want to make sure we check every box before we make it.”

Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.