Less than a year removed from a stunning run to the Supporters’ Shield, the San Jose Earthquakes announced Friday that they have parted ways with head coach Frank Yallop.
Assistant coach Mark Watson has been named the interim head coach for the remainder of the 2013 season for the Quakes, who have struggled to find the same form this season after posting the best regular-season record in Major League Soccer last season.
San Jose are just 3-6-6 this year despite returning the bulk of their lineup, and are currently winless in their past four matches. Watson will make his debut when the Quakes return to action on June 15 at the Colorado Rapids.
Yallop said in a statement that he met with team president David Kaval and general manager John Doyle earlier this week, and the three men agreed it was time for the club to move in a different direction.
“Mark Watson is an excellent coach and the team is in very good hands,” Yallop said in a statement. “I want to thank the entire Earthquakes organization for my time here. I want to thank the players and coaching staff that have been here over the past five-and-a-half years. They made my job really enjoyable with their professionalism and hard work, especially last year, which was a magical season, and one I will never forget.”
Yallop 49, won two MLS Cups with the Quakes during his first coaching stint with the club in 2001-03, and then returned to lead the team during their 2008 reincarnation. He led the club to the Eastern Conference Championship in 2010 before returning to the playoffs last year, where they eventually lost to the LA Galaxy in the Western Conference semifinals.
Yallop was named the MLS Coach of the Year after the Quakes won 19 of 34 games in the regular season and ran away with the Supporters’ Shield, the second in franchise history.
The Quakes finished with a 57-61-54 record overall during Yallop’s second run with the team.
“I want to personally thank Frank for all of his efforts since 2007 to help make this club successful,” Doyle said in a statement. “He guided this team from an expansion side in 2008 to just one goal away from getting to the MLS Cup final in 2010 and a Supporters’ Shield last year. I have enjoyed working with Frank over the past five-and-a-half years and wish him well in all his future endeavors.”
Yallop served as the head coach of the Canadian national team from 2004-06 and while that post is currently vacant, there was no immediate indication on Friday that Yallop is set to return there.
“I want to thank the fans here as well,” Yallop said in a statement. ”They have been great and really drove the team on and have been a big part of our success. I wish the organization all the very best in the future.”
Added Kaval: “We would like to thank Frank for all his hard work and dedication over the past six years. He has led us to some great successes as a club, including last year’s Supporters’ Shield, and he has been a true professional during his time with the organization.”
Immediately after the news was released, several of Yallop's former players took to Twitter to express their thoughts.
Absolutely stunned by Frank Yallop leaving.I can't understand this but wish him & his family all the best.— Joe Cannon (@JoeCannonGK1) June 7, 2013
Sad news about Frank Yallop leaving @sjearthquakes good coach and superb bloke,won't be anyone with a bad word to say about him— Darren Huckerby (@hucks6dh6) June 7, 2013