Heading into the pivotal final few weeks of the Major League Soccer season, the playoff chasing LA Galaxy are without a head coach.
Veteran head coach Sigi Schmid, 65, has resigned as LA’s leader and his assistant Dominic Kinnear has stepped in for the remaining six games of the season.
Schmid has more wins than any other coach in MLS history with 240 in the regular season.
The Galaxy — currently in the middle of a six-game winless runs which included a 5-0 hammering at Seattle and a 6-2 defeat at Real Salt Lake — have scheduled a conference call for 5 p.m. ET Monday.
ESPN’s Taylor Twellman first broke the news, stating that Schmid was out immediately with former Houston Dynamo and San Jose Earthquakes head coach Kinnear stepping in.
Despite their poor form this season, Zlatan Ibrahimovic has scored 16 goals and the Galaxy sit just three points out of the playoff places in the Western Conference. However, the balance of this team just hasn’t seemed right for some time with big name players not gelling and the teams around them in the playoff hunt do have games in hand of LA.
Schmid took charge of the Galaxy for a second stint in the final months of the 2017 season, after previously winning an MLS Cup in 2002 with LA during five years at the helm from 1999-2004. He then went on to turn Columbus into perennial MLS Cup contenders (winning it all in 2008) before being the coach of the Seattle Sounders from 2009-16 as he set the foundations for one of the most successful expansion franchises in MLS history.
During his illustrious coaching career Schmid won the U.S. Open Cup five times and the MLS Supporters’ Shield three times, as well as MLS Cups with LA and the Columbus Crew plus the CONCACAF Champions Cup with LA in 2000.
Whether or not this is the end of his coaching career remains to be seen, but he is one of the greatest managers in U.S. history.
Many believe cleaning out the front office at the StubHub Center would be a much better idea as two years of struggle followed Bruce Arena’s departure for the USMNT head coaching job in 2016.
Dominic Kinnear is out after two and a half seasons as head coach of the San Jose Earthquakes, despite leading the club to a hugely improved standing 17 games into the 2017 season.
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The move comes 17 hours after San Jose put to bed a three-game winless skid with a 2-1 win over Real Salt Lake on Saturday, a result which propelled them into fifth place in the Western Conference, just two points off second place. After seventh- and ninth-place finishes in Kinnear’s first two seasons back in Northern California (he managed the club in 2004 and 2005 before the club was relocated to Houston, where he would remain for nine seasons, through the 2014 season), this year’s team seemed to be moving in a positive direction quicker than most had previously expected.
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The club has named Chris Leitch head coach and Alex Covelo as assistant coach. Current assistant coach Steve Ralston and goalkeeper coach Tim Hanley will remain in their current roles.
“First and foremost, we would like to thank Dominic for his hard work, professionalism and contributions to this club over the years,” Earthquakes general manager Jesse Fioranelli said in a release. “He worked hard this year and was a first-class person all the way. This decision was made after a lot of thought and evaluation. We decided that we wanted to go in a different direction as we continue to build the identity of this club.”
Kinnear is the second MLS coach to be relieved of his duties this season, suffering the same fate as RSL’s Jeff Cassar, who lasted just three games before being fired in March.
Houston’s new head coach grew up an 11-minute ScotRail ride from its last one.
Sky Sports is reporting that Paisley-born Owen Coyle will take the reins from Glasgow-raised, long-time Dynamo boss Dominic Kinnear, who left the job for the head coach job in San Jose.
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Coyle, 48, most recently managed Wigan Athletic after stints at Bolton, Burnley, St. Johnstone and Falkirk. He’s barely a year older than Kinnear, 47. Sky said the announcement of a three-year deal will come on Tuesday.
The MLS site says the two parties are still working out contract details, but Coyle is getting a good endorsement from a former player at Bolton. From MLSSoccer.com:
“Talking with Stuart [Holden, former Dynamo star who played for Coyle at Bolton Wanderers] … he was definitely a guy the players loved to play for, a guy that the players really respected,” Davis said. “For me, as a player, those are the things you love to hear; a coach that’s going to work for the players and have the players’ thoughts first and foremost in his mind. It’s a positive name I’ve heard talking to other guys in terms of players that have played for him.”
Davis is the only Dynamo player to have been in Houston for all nine years of former head coach Dominic Kinnear’s tenure. The World Cup veteran knows more than anyone the comfort and consistency a longstanding head coach can bring to a locker room, and he is looking forward to having a new boss in place.
“You try and let the days pass, but you can only let so many go by when you’re worried about your future and what’s going on,” Davis said. “For me, it seems like a plus so far. That’s great until we truly get into if he is named our head coach, until we get into a training atmosphere.”
Seems like a strong hire for Houston, and we wouldn’t expect much less from the stable Texas club. You agree?
The Houston Dynamo‘s head coaching search to replace the departed Dominic Kinnear (San Jose Earthquakes), the only man to lead La Naranja in the club’s nine-year history, is heating up and could be nearing its conclusion with a pair of well-known names leading the way, according to multiple reports on Thursday night.
Former Bolton Wanderers boss Owen Coyle, and current New York Red Bulls assistant and former Chivas USA head coach Robin Fraser have spoken with the Dynamo about the vacancy, per a number of reporters.
Coyle-or-Fraser-to-Houston was first reported by ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle.
Shortly after Carlisle’s first report, SI’s Grant Wahl seconded the Coyle rumor. Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle then made things seem imminent with a story advancement of his own. Predictably, the Dynamo say they have no comment to make at this time regarding their head coaching search.
For what it’s worth, one long-time Dynamo favorite had less than complimentary things to say of Coyle’s rumored involvement.
The only tie the Scottish manager has to the United States, and Houston in particular, is the fact he made former Dynamo midfielder Stuart Holden his first signing upon being appointed Bolton manager in January 2010.
With two games left in the MLS regular season comes the announcement than an institution may be changing institutions.
Houston Chronicle sportswriter Jose de Jesus Ortiz is reporting that Dominic Kinnear, the only manager is Houston’s MLS history, is leaving the Dynamo to get closer to home. No, not Scotland, where he was born but to California where he grew up.
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San Jose will be the place, and the Quakes staff has known change was a-brewing after a miserable season. Kinnear is the only coach in Houston’s existence, winning two titles and going to four championship games in nine seasons.
From The Chronicle:
The native of Glasgow, Scotland, was three years old when his parents moved from Scotland to Fremont, Calif. He and his wife, Colleen, still have most of their immediate family in the Fremont-San Jose area.
The Dynamo gave Kinnear permission to interview for the Earthquakes’ job in late September, and the meeting with Earthquakes officials took place earlier this month.
Kinnear began his coaching career as an assistant with the first incarnation of the Major League Soccer Earthquakes in 2001. He helped coach Frank Yallop lead the squad to MLS titles in 2001 and 2003. He was promoted to head coach of the Earthquakes in 2004.
It’s a coup for the Quakes, who have stumbled down the stretch under Canadian coach Mark Watson. San Jose hasn’t won since Aug. 2, a streak of 13 games, and Watson’s current record as Quakes boss is 20W-19L-20D heading into the final two games.
Apparently the move won’t be as contentious as Oscar Pareja’s move from Colorado to Dallas, which is good news for everyone. Now who will become the second head coach in Dynamo history? Could it be respected one of Houston’s respected assistants, Wade Barrett or Steve Ralston, or will the Dynamo go outside the organization?