Some years it can be really difficult to settle on one head coach to consider the clear-cut choice for MLS Coach of the Year, but 2012 was not one of those years.
After guiding the San Jose Earthquakes to one of the most impressive and surprising seasons in MLS history, Frank Yallop stood head and shoulders above his peers. Not only did he help put together a roster that ran away with the MLS Supporters Shield, Yallop also put together a lineup that thrived when its back was against the wall.
A team that missed the playoffs in 2011, the Earthquakes became the league’s most dangerous attack and developed a habit for pulling off second-half comebacks, in many cases not until stoppage time. That penchant for late-game heroics helped the Earthquakes finish in first place in the stacked MLS Western Conference ahead of teams that spent more money, but didn’t have nearly the success.
All these things made Frank Yallop the easy selection for SBI MLS Coach of the Year. He beat out a field of candidates that didn’t come close, but that did impress in their own right.
Here is a look at the other candidates:
When Dwayne DeRosario was lost for the regular season with an injury with a month to go in the season, D.C. United looked doomed and destined for another late-season collapse like 2011. Olsen had other ideas, helping guide D.C. to an impressive finish to the season that left the team in second place in the Eastern Conference when it was all over.
It was no surprise that Sporting KC wound up repeating as regular season champions of the Eastern Conference, but Vermes gets the credit for helping mold Sporting into a defensive juggernaut and U.S. Open Cup Champion.
The Montreal Impact didn’t make the playoffs in their first year of existence, but they came closer than most would have expected and credit for that falls to Marsch, who helped the Impact set a new Canadian record for wins in a season. Marsch helped the team overcome a poor start to the season to challenge for a playoff spot in the final weeks.
What did you think of this year’s Coach of the Year field? Which coach impressed you the most in 2012?
Share your thoughts below.