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Earthquakes remove interim label, sign Watson to multi-year contract

Mark Watson

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The San Jose Earthquakes didn’t make the playoffs in 2013, but after Mark Watson took over for Frank Yallop in a mid-season change of head coaches, the front office clearly liked what they saw.

The Earthquakes announced on Wednesday that they were making Watson the full head coach, signing the former Canadian international to a “multi-year” contract. Per league and club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

After becoming interim head coach on June 7, Watson lead the Earthquakes to a 11-5-3 record, with the best points per game average (1.83) in the league during that time span. Unfortunately for them, their early season struggles kept them too far behind from the rest of the pack in the competitive Western Conference.

“We’re excited to sign Mark to a multi-year contract after his tremendous finish to the 2013 season,” said Earthquakes president Dave Kaval in a statement. “Mark inherited an adverse situation, but he found a way to qualify the club for the CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinals and nearly rallied us to an MLS Cup Playoff berth. We look forward to having Mark on our sideline as we continue to move toward a new era of Earthquakes soccer.”

Under Watson, the team’s defense improved at home and away. The team recorded eight shutouts in Watson’s 19 games in charge, and they were 8-0-1 at Buck Shaw Stadium. Prior to the coaching change, the Earthquakes were mired in a disappointing three-win run in their first 15 matches after winning the Supporters Shield a one year earlier.

What do you think of this news? Happy to see Watson keep his job? Do you see him improving the squad even more next season? Do you believe that Watson is the right man for the job?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Yes!!! This means I can continue working on my Wondolowski + Watson homoerotic fan-fiction opus! Planning on posting it on SBI when I’m done. Let me know if you want to see an early copiy!! ^_^

  2. This was a predictable move by the Quakes FO and Watson deserved it based on results. I would really like to know more about the alleged Watson – Chavez feud…? Chavez was arguably our best attacking player and was non-existent during the last quarter of the season. They could have really used his skill on the wing and set pieces during the 0-0 draw against the Galaxy when getting 3 points was essential to keeping playoff chances alive. Cordell Cato IS NOT a suitable replacement for Chavez. I’m hoping whatever Chavez did to get into Watson’s doghouse justified his benching and missing the playoffs. No one seems to know what happened to Chavez – I just hope Watson is not the type of coach to put personal grudges ahead of team results. All of that said I wish Watson continued success and hope that the FO can find him some better attacking options in the midfield for 2014.

  3. This contract is not really surprising given he’s already here and our front office’s lack of creativity. If the Earthquakes go out and acquire more talent… than Watson will do fine. The playing style is not so much a product of the coach but the coach doing what he can with the talent available.

  4. there’s a lot of Quakes/league fans who don’t like our style of play, but its hard to argue with results since Watson took over. I for one like the way our true wingers with pace will attack with the ballI and we generate a TON of chances each game. that’s plenty exciting to watch, but I was also pleased with the defensive effort and 8 shutouts over the second half (maybe more to do w/ Goodson, but who cares) and with us stuck at Buck Shaw for one more year there was never really a chance they’d go shopping for a big name guy now. Let’s see how they handle the offseason draft/trades, and preparation for the CCL quarterfinal against Toluca.

    • yallop = watson. MAYBE a little bit, very little bit different but not much. Time will tell but I don’t expect us to be much different. We all know the team won’t open the checkbook, so it’s a typical soft & safe front office move. Lived in the bay area for the last 15yrs and supported the team since they were playing @ spartan stadium, some good memories BUT what sticks out the most was how cheap the organisation always was……frustrating.
      With that said I can’t disagree much with what you wrote WK.

    • I just wish those “ton of chances” resulted in more goals. What I see is a lot of confusion in the box, with Quakes forwards and midfielders getting in each other’s way more often than not. Too many times the result is blocked shots, dangerous aerial challenges or wild swings that go wide or high of the target. I’d like more patience to pull defenders out and more creativity in working give-and-goes and runs into the box. Shea Salinas has started to get the hang of that but none of the other attacking players appear to have that ability.

      • A couple of quality mids and this team is legit. It is a shame Wondo doesn’t have that creator like he did with Dawkins.

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