Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By DAN KARELL
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.