The San Jose Earthquakes have cut ties with Mikael Stahre and much of his coaching staff. They are trying to light a fire under this team. Will it work?
As a San Francisco Bay Area native, I have seen the San Jose Earthquakes struggle off and on throughout my lifetime. Although this team has never been able to truly reach their potential with noteworthy players like Chris Wondolowski, the fans have continued to stand behind this club.
Regardless of the inability to win the cup since 2003, the Quakes won the Supporters Sheild in 2012. The fans are loyal beyond belief, the team has some quality players, and all with a beautiful new stadium.
So, what’s the problem? Well, San Jose currently sits bottom of all of MLS and is suffering through one of the worst seasons in recent memory. But today the Earthquakes made a move that could possibly remedy the issues at hand.
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Sitting dead last in the Western Conference, it’s been a frustrating season for the Earthquakes. With with worst record in MLS at four wins, eight draws, and 16 losses, they are in desperate need of a change. They made a move over the summer, trading keeper David Bingham to the LA Galaxy and acquired some new faces like Georgia national team captain Guram Kashia. But it hasn’t been enough.
So, on September 17th, the club announced they were parting ways with head coach Mikael Stahre. Stahre had only been with the club for less than a year, but it was clear he wasn’t a good match. The club also said farewell to assistant coach Alex de Crook. Assistant coach Steve Ralston will take over as interim coach for the last six games of the season. They have begun the hunt for a permanent head coach already.
The Mercury News reported general manager Jesse Fioranelli’s comments on the decision to cut ties with Stahre and de Crook:
"“I would like to thank Mikael and Alex for their hard work and professionalism this season. Mikael has qualities, both as a person and a coach, that will be missed by players, staff and the front office alike. We felt we needed a change and decided that the six remaining games represent an opportunity for all of us to begin heading in a new direction and to evaluate our options actively with a single goal in mind: to strengthen our First Team for the upcoming season and beyond.”"
I think a change in coach this late in the season could make a serious impact. After losing 5-1 to Sporting Kansas City this weekend, I’m sure the pressure to improve was already weighing on their shoulders.
After the front office made these moves today, the fire surely has been lit. The Quakes number one rivals, the Los Angeles Galaxy, also have seen an end-of-the-season coaching change as Sigi Schmid stepped down. Now, the Earthquakes are taking the same approach. We will see how it plays out.
How do you think the Western Conference will shape up with the many changes going on? Will this be a new beginning for both clubs?