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Yallop to Assume Responsibilities in Canada on January 1st

SAN JOSE, CA (December 16, 2003) – The San Jose Earthquakes announced today that Frank Yallop has stepped down as head coach of the team to become the new head coach of the Canadian National Team. Yallop announced his decision today at a press conference at Swangard Stadium in Vancouver, British Columbia.

“I enjoyed my three seasons in San Jose tremendously,” said Yallop. “These past three years have been unbelievable. I would like to thank Dominic Kinnear, who did an outstanding job as assistant coach and Tim Hanley for his excellent work with our goalkeepers. I would also like to thank General Manager Johnny Moore, the players, the front office staff and the fans for their support during my time here. The fans have been great to me since I first arrived and I want to thank them for their loyalty and for sticking with this team no matter the situation.”

During his three seasons as head coach of the Earthquakes (2001-2003), Yallop won two MLS Cup Championships while posting a 41-25-18 record, which was the best mark in MLS during that stretch. Yallop, 39, was also named MLS Coach of the Year in 2001 after taking over a team that posted a league-worst 7-17-8 record in 2000 and leading them to the MLS Cup Championship in 2001. The former Canadian international defender leaves San Jose as the all-time leader in wins in club history (41).

“During the past three seasons, Frank has done an outstanding job here in San Jose,” said Earthquakes General Manager Johnny Moore. “Obviously, we are disappointed to lose a great coach and a great person; however, we understand his decision and we fully support him. We know that he has strong roots in Canada and we wish him all the best there. We look forward to maintaining a great relationship with Frank and the Canadian Soccer Association.”

Under Yallop, the Quakes broke numerous club records, including most points in a season (51), fewest goals allowed in a season (29), longest road unbeaten streak (7), longest unbeaten streak (12), and most consecutive wins at home (12). Many players flourished under Yallop’s tutelage as the Quakes had 13 players named to the All-Star team in Yallop’s three seasons and had five members selected to the MLS Best XI. Seven Earthquakes players also earned their first call-up to the senior men’s national team for training camps during Yallop’s tenure in San Jose.

“This really was a very difficult decision for me, but I felt like taking the national team job for Canada was an opportunity that I could not pass up,” continued Yallop. “I wish the entire Earthquakes organization continued success in the future and I will always be a supporter of the San Jose Earthquakes and MLS.”

Moore said, “On a personal note, I have really enjoyed working with Frank. I will always have an enormous amount of respect for him and what he accomplished here. Frank and I have always agreed that no one person is bigger than the club, so we have to move on and we have already started our coaching search. We hope to finalize this search in the next few weeks.”

As part of the agreement for Yallop’s departure, the Earthquakes will also host the Canadian National Team on Saturday, June 5 at Spartan Stadium. That match will be Canada’s final tune-up prior to the start of World Cup Qualifying.

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No, not necessarily, as the WCQ starts with a match against Belize in Canada (site to be determined) on June 13, with the return leg a week later in Belize. The first game of the second round (assuming we make it) will be Wednesday, August 18. So, there could be a Nat match at a grassed-in Skydome scheduled soon after (or as the second part of a doubleheader) the Celtic game (now tentatively scheduled for the latter part of the July 21 to August 1 schedule), but that would probably be too early for the expectedly brief training camp prior to Aug. 18th.

In terms of a home friendly before the first WCQ, maybe the 4 to 8 days before the SanJose game on June 5 would be do-able (maybe Scotland would be available). We also might get a home friendly 5 to 7 days before the Aug. 18 match as part of the training period.

Other than these two periods, I can't see any friendlies in Canada in 2004. I think any friendlies in February March or April will be in Europe if we want our A team present. Of course, if we beat Belize, we will have 4 home WCQ matches, ad hopefully these will be spread across the country.

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Another San Jose-based article, from QuakeMagic.com:

Blame Canada - Yallop Leaves San Jose

Bittersweet Day For Canada's New Coach

Jeff Carlisle

December 16, 2003

The worst kept -- and for Quakes’ fans the most feared -- secret in MLS became official today with the announcement by the Canadian Soccer Association that San Jose Earthquakes’ head coach Frank Yallop has been hired to lead the Canadian Men’s National Team.

The announcement comes on the heels of Yallop’s second championship in three years with the Earthquakes, ending the most successful coaching stint in San Jose’s eight year history. The former Canadian international posted a regular season record of 41-25-18, while sporting an 8-4-0 record in the playoffs.

Despite accepting his dream job, it was clearly a day of mixed emotions for the now former Quakes’ coach. "This is an exciting day and sad day for me," Yallop told MAGIC on the media conference call. "I’ve had some wonderful times in MLS as both a player and a coach. I feel very saddened to have to leave that. I just feel that this is one job that was very difficult to turn down because of the ties I have with Canada and the times I played with them."

The CSA’s courtship of Yallop began shortly after the Quakes’ MLS Cup triumph over Chicago on November 23 and they moved quickly towards securing their countryman’s services.

Yallop’s new contract is for two years with an option to extend the agreement through 2010. While monetary terms of the contract were not disclosed, the deciding factors in Yallop’s decision had more to do with answering the call of his country as well as the challenge that entails. "I think it’s a great opportunity to test myself at a different level and to better myself as a coach against different opposition," added Yallop.

Yallop acknowledged that San Jose had pulled out all the stops in an effort to retain his services. "It was a tough decision. I had some talks with Johnny [Moore] and he tried to keep me here," Yallop said. "But in the end it wasn’t about money. I had to make the best decision for me. It was more...what do I want to do? Where do I want to coach? If I had stayed and let this chance go, I wouldn’t have been 100% focused here."

As difficult as it sounds, the Quakes must now put the Yallop era behind them. General Manager Johnny Moore was unavailable for comment as he is currently on vacation, but has stated previously that contrary to earlier reports, the job has not yet been given to current assistant coach Dominic Kinnear and that he would be interviewing other candidates. Yallop however, threw his support behind his former assistant. "I spoke to Johnny about who I think should get the job and I think that is Dominic Kinnear," said Yallop. "Dominic and I have worked very closely together over the last three years and he’s a big part of what I’ve achieved. You tend to look at the head coach all the time and yes, I’ve got to pull the trigger and make tough decisions on certain things. But you need someone to be with you and help you and I think Dominic has done a great job with that. We think alike. I think the players would be happy if we continued along the same vein. I’ll always want San Jose to do well whether I’m there or not. I think Dominic is right for the job."

Yallop also added that he expects San Jose to continue their run atop the MLS mountain. "The club will fine, it will go on and on because they’ve got some great people involved."

As far as compensation goes, the only form of recompense that has been announced is a friendly match between San Jose and Canada on June 5 of next year. Yallop was not aware of any additional forms of restitution that the CSA might throw San Jose’s way. Quake fans will no doubt settle for assurances that none of the current crop of Canadian born Quakes’ players will ever again be injured while on international duty.

As Yallop looks back on his tenure with the San Jose, he admitted that he’ll take away some great memories, but one will stand out more than any other. "The joy on the players faces when we won both Cups. You don’t realize all the things you go through -- the games, the practice sessions -- until you actually see the elation on the faces of the players and staff, just the disbelief that we’ve won it. That will always stick in my mind where people are just delirious with happiness. They’re a good bunch. I’m going to miss them."

Right back at you Frank.


-- Yallop confirmed that the rumor that had him going to D.C. United was pure fantasy. "There was never any contact or talk of [going there.] I always said it was going to be San Jose or Canada."

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