Although Landon Donovan would seem to be the front-runner based on his historic ties to the team and name recognition — he’s also enjoyed a fair amount of success during three seasons in charge of USL Championship side San Diego Loyal — he can’t match the MLS coaching experience of some of the others that are reportedly in consideration.
Most notable among that group is Preki, one of Brian Schmetzer’s top assistants since joining the team ahead of the 2018 season. Preki, 59, has extensive head coaching experience at various levels, including two different stints in MLS with Chivas USA (2007-09) and Toronto FC (2010). Preki was named MLS Coach of the Year after leading Chivas USA to a first-place finish in the Western Conference. He also had a highly successful run as the initial coach of Sacramento Republic, going 35-15-5 from 2013-15 before leaving to pursue a job in the United Kingdom that never materialized.
Other candidates with ties to the Sounders are Ian Russell and Ante Razov. Russell is a Seattle native who played for the A-League Sounders from 1998-99, where he was a teammate with the likes of Sean Henderson and Craig Waibel. Russell is currently an assistant at Toronto FC and was the head coach of USL Championship side Reno 1868 from 2017-20, where he went 64-25-27. Razov is currently an assistant with LAFC, but got his coaching start with the Sounders as an assistant under Sigi Schmid and Schmetzer from 2015-16.