Major League Soccer today announced that San Jose Earthquakes head coach Dominic Kinnear was overwhelmingly selected as the MLS Coach of the Year in voting determined by the media, MLS players and MLS coaches and general managers. The award is the first for Kinnear, in his second season as a head coach.
In 2005, Kinnear oversaw a complete overhaul of the roster, bringing in a total of 18 new players who were not with the team in 2004. Despite losing such established stars as Landon Donovan, Jeff Agoos and Richard Mulrooney, among others; Kinnear revamped the Quakes by adding impact performers in the off-season like Ricardo Clark, Wade Barrett, Danny Califf, Alejandro Moreno, Ronald Cerritos and Brad Davis. Early season injuries to starting defenders Craig Waibel and Troy Dayak, as well as serious injuries suffered by 2004 leading scorer Brian Ching and midfielder Brian Mullan threatened to derail the Quakes early on, but Kinnear quickly added accomplished professionals Kelly Gray and Mark Chung to the squad.
Kinnear guided the Quakes to the best record in the League (18-4-10) and the Supporter's Shield, as the Quakes became only the second team in MLS history to register more than 60 points in a season. Fielding a balanced team with no player scoring more than nine goals during the season, the Quakes set a league record for fewest losses in a season and became the first MLS team to ever go undefeated at home for an entire regular season. Under Kinnear, the Quakes finished the year with a 14-game unbeaten streak, going 11-0-3 in that span and 15-1-6 in their last 22 games. San Jose surrendered a League-low 31 goals, as Kinnear's all-time regular season winning percentage is now second in MLS history. His .605 winning percentage trails only Bruce Arena (.635). The team also became the first MLS team in history to finish the season unbeaten at home as they stretched their home-unbeaten streak to a league-record 18 games.
The MLS Coach of the Year was determined by equal voting from the media (33.33 percent), MLS players (33.33 percent) and MLS coaches and general managers (33.33 percent). With each voting category representing one-third of the total votes, the formula used for determining the award winners involved assigning 33.33 total points to each category for a maximum possible total of 99.99 points. The voting totals were as follows:
Media Players Coach/GM Total Dominic Kinnear 14.59 14.96 14.51 44.05 Steve Nicol 8.57 9.22 10.49 28.29 Peter Nowak 4.69 4.45 3.40 12.53