The MLS coaching carousel continued to spin today after the San Jose Earthquakes fired Mikael Stahre as their manager. The career gaffer was canned in his first season with the club where he led them to a less-than-stellar 4-8-16 record, good for not only last place in the Western Conference but in the whole league. Assistant coach Alex de Crook was also fired today.
Fellow assistant coach and MLS legend Steve Ralston will take over duties as interim manager.
Stahre came into the club last November to replace Chris Leitch, who himself took over for Dominic Kinnear last July. Before making the move to the United States, the Swede led clubs in his native Sweden along with Greece and China.
Earthquakes general manager Jesse Fioranelli said in a statement, “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.”
He continued, “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.”
New coach Steve Ralston is considered quite the legend in MLS circles. He made 378 league appearances from 1996 to 2010 with the Tampa Bay Mutiny and New England Revolution. As of writing today, he is second in assists (135), fifth in appearances, and fourth in minutes played (33,142).
Perhaps more importantly, Ralston also has a history of winning trophies. He was a part of the Mutiny side that won the first MLS Supporters’ Shield in 1996. He won both a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and North American SuperLiga with the Revolution. And, he helped the USMNT win two consecutive CONCACAF Gold Cups in 2005 and 2007.
Perhaps the only downside is that he barely has any coaching experience. He’s never been a head coach and he’s taking over for a team that is seemingly in shambles. His first match as gaffer is on Wednesday when the Earthquakes host eastern conference giant Atlanta United.
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