NEW YORK – San Jose Earthquakes manager Frank Yallop says that his club “don’t want to be a one-hit wonder” this season and they have the backing of ownership to continue to build on the success of 2010.
The Quakes get ready to face the Colorado Rapids in the Eastern Conference Championship at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park (Saturday, 9:30 pm ET, FSC) for a trip to MLS Cup 2010.
“I am feeling good about what we’re doing with San Jose,” Yallop said in a Tuesday media teleconference call. “We want a team that’s going to grow and steadily get better and challenge every season. We had limited resources to start with, but the ownership group now is seeing us produce good results and look like a team that could challenge and they are ready to back us and get what we need.”
Yallop says the team has been aggressive on the player market and praises deals like the one that brought MLS 2010 top scorer Chris Wondolowski from the Houston Dynamo.
Although the Quakes expect to lose a couple of players in the upcoming MLS Expansion Draft, the English-born Canadian is confident that the team can continue to improve after failing to advance to the postseason in 2008 and 2009.
“We need to build and make ourselves stronger and it’s not easy,” Yallop said. “But we’ve done a good job of not panicking and building slowly.”
For two years, in 2006 and 2007, some doubted Yallop’s ability to build a winner again after failing to take the Los Angeles Galaxy to the MLS Cup Playoffs. Pundits began suggesting that his success in San Jose, where he won two MLS Cups in 2001 and 2003, may have been due to the contributions of his then assistant Dominic Kinnear.
Yallop qualifies his tenure in LA as the “dark times” of his career in '06 and '07, but he was convinced that he could eventually transform the 2008 expansion San Jose Earthquakes into a winner.
“I felt a little bit on an island out there [in LA] at times with all the things going on outside the game,” Yallop said. “It wasn’t the greatest of times but I learned a lot about myself. … I never doubted my ability to build a team.”
The Quakes manager considers himself a positive person and he wants to carry that optimism to his team to ensure San Jose can take advantage of the opportunity that awaits them in the Eastern Conference Championship.
“I want to make sure we finish on a high this season and hopefully build for the future,” Yallop said. “We’re going to go in there [Colorado] and have a good game plan and hopefully come out on top.”