By CARL SETTERLUND
With rumors of a potential Dominic Kinnear return to San Jose spinning wildly through MLS media circles, the Earthquakes took time to address the reports.
The Houston Chronicle reported on Friday that the Houston Dynamo would allow Kinnear to leave the club with a year left on his contract this offseason if the Earthquakes offer him their head coaching position. The Earthquakes are currently managed by Mark Watson, who took over for Frank Yallop midway through the 2013 season. San Jose is on the verge of missing the playoffs for the second consecutive year.
Although they didn’t address Kinnear by name, the ‘Quakes indicated that if they were to move on from coach Watson, it won’t happen immediately.
“All decisions regarding our technical staff and players will be made at the conclusion of the season,” the club said in a statement.
Kinnear also downplayed the situation on Saturday.
“I’m always kind of fighting those rumors,” Kinnear said. “I think it’s unfair that it’s always brought up because San Jose already has a coach and I have a contract through 2015.”
Although Scottish by birth, the 47-year-old Kinnear has long called the San Jose area his home, playing much of his professional career in the Bay Area and also coaching the Earthquakes as an assistant to Frank Yallop during the 2001 and 2003 MLS Cup seasons.
Kinnear was named head coach in 2004 and has remained in that job for a decade, although the franchise moved to Houston in 2006.
Here are some more MLS stories to catch you up on the latest around the league:
RSL’S PLATA CALLED IN FOR ECUADOR FRIENDLIES
Ecuador boasts an impressive enough squad to have qualified for the 2014 World Cup out of the challenging CONMEBOL region, so it’s no cakewalk to make the national team squad.
That’s why it’s big news that Real Salt Lake forward Joao Plata is being called back up to the senior squad for the second time in as many months ahead of friendlies in October against the United States and El Salvador.
Ecuador will face the U.S. Men’s National Team on Oct. 10 at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn. They will play El Salvador four days later at Red Bull Arena.
The 22-year-old Plata came on as a substitute earlier this month against Bolivia, which was just his second cap. Plata made his Ecuador debut back in 2011.
He’s earned the call up with a strong season for RSL, posting 13 goals and five assists.
PORTER DECIDES NOT TO REPLACE JOHNSON AS TIMBERS CAPTAIN
“We won’t replace our captain.”
Those were the words of Portland Timbers coach Caleb Porter on Monday after Will Johnson sustained a season-ending broken leg in the Timbers shocking 3-2 loss to Toronto FC on Saturday.
“Someone will wear the band, obviously, in his absence,” Porter said. “Maybe it’s the same guy. Maybe it’s a couple of different guys. But we will have a captain for every game.”
Pleased with Johnson’s leadership wearing the armband so far, the Timbers still view Johnson as the team’s long-term captain entering the stretch run of the regular season and a potential playoff run.
Some candidates to serve as temporary captain would appear to be Diego Valeri, Diego Chara, Darlington Nagbe, and Liam Ridgewell. However Valeri is suspended for the Timbers’ next game.
What do you think of the Kinnear to San Jose rumors? What are you hoping to see from Joao Plata in Ecuador’s upcoming friendlies? Who should serve as the Timbers’ temporary captain?
Share your thoughts below.