The San Jose Earthquakes and head coach Frank Yallop have mutually agreed to part ways, just one year after Yallop led the Quakes to the Supporters' Shield. Assistant coach Mark Watson will take over as head coach for the rest of the season.
"After [general manager] John [Doyle] and I met this week with Frank, we all decided that it was in all of our best interests for us to part ways," president Dave Kaval said in a statement.
The Quakes are off to a rough start this season, slumping to eighth place in the West with just 15 points from 15 matches. The team has been ravaged by injuries, with Alan Gordon, Steven Lenhart and Steven Beitashour, among others, all missing significant chunks of time this season.
Some have wondered if Yallop's tenure in San Jose had just run its course. He has been there for six years and his message may have been falling on deaf ears after such a long spell, but they are taking a chance in handing the reins to Watson. This will be Watson's first head coaching job after working as an assistant under Yallop in Canada and in San Jose.
Yallop led San Jose to MLS Cup titles in 2001 and 2003 before leaving the club to take over Canada, but he didn't fare so well with his country's national team. He failed to qualify them for the Hex in qualification for the 2006 World Cup, although Canada has failed to make it to the final round for the last four cycles so that isn't out of the norm. Yallop then went to the Galaxy, where he struggled.
Yallop's return to San Jose six years ago helped restart his career after a series of disappointments. He took over the club in their expansion year and slowly built them into the best team in the regular season a year ago, but with this season's slow start, he and the team have agreed to part ways.
It is possible that Yallop could return to Canada and take over the national team for a second stint. He could also find a home with another MLS team in the near future, especially coming off of last year's fantastic season, but right now it is all speculation. Meanwhile in San Jose, they have to get healthy and try to move on without the only manager they have known since re-entering the league in 2007.