BY MIKE DONOVAN
Less than a week after firing head coach Frank Yallop, the San Jose Earthquakes are starting an international search to find their next coach, according to Earthquakes President Dave Kaval.
Mark Watson has been named coach on an interim basis and will be given an “honest shot” to keep the job after this season. This will be the first time the club has had a coaching search since San Jose returned to MLS in 2008.
Here are some more news and notes from around the Western Conference heading into MLS Week 16 action:
Chivas USA will take on its parent club, Chivas Guadalajara, in a closed-door scrimmage on Sunday, June 16. The Mexican-based squad is in Southern California for a training camp leading up to the beginning of the Apertura season. Chivas USA currently has six players that are on loan from their parent club.
The Rapids are in the midst of a six-game unbeaten run and head coach Oscar Pareja wishes that Colorado didn’t have a two-week break between a draw against FC Dallas on the first day of June and Saturday’s matchup against San Jose.
When asked if he was happy his team got a break, Pareja told the Denver Post, that “vacation is in December.” Colorado is currently tied with the LA Galaxy for fifth in the Western Conference standings.
During a chat with fans on the website of the Dallas Morning News, FC Dallas owner Dan Hunt said that the club is targeting two players in the hopes of signing them during the summer transfer window. The MLS summer transfer window opens July 9.
Hunt also stated that he believes the league will eventually add more roster spots to the current number of 30.
LOS ANGELES GALAXY
Galaxy striker Robbie Keane has ruled out ever returning to the Premier League and plans on finishing his career in MLS.
“I am very, very happy, very content where I am in this situation in my life,” Keane told the Daily Mail. “If you keep playing and keep producing and keep scoring goals, it doesn’t really matter where you are.”
Keane also told the paper he plans on going into management when his playing career is over and that he will start his first coaching qualifications this offseason.
Portland was missing four players due to international duty last weekend, however, two of those players will be returning in time for the Timbers match with FC Dallas on Saturday. Donovan Ricketts and Ryan Johnson, who both featured in Jamaica’s 2-0 loss to Honduras Tuesday, have completed their most recent stint and should be back in Portland for Saturday.
REAL SALT LAKE
RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando joined the U.S. Men’s National Team earlier in the week and will be with the team when the US takes on Honduras at Rio Tinto Stadium. Rimando has six caps for the U.S., but is unlikely to play as he is listed as the third goalkeeper behind Tim Howard and Brad Guzan.
“Having one of the games in my home stadium makes it truly special not only to represent the U.S., but also RSL, and I’ll be ready if called upon,” said Rimando, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.
As expected, Sounders midfielder Steve Zakuani has undergone surgery for a sports hernia. Zakuani, who has been out of practice for the last week due to the injury, is expected to return to the field in six to eight weeks.
After an injury to Andy O’Brien during the Whitecaps 3-2 loss to the Seattle Sounders on Saturday, Vancouver has been forced to recall center back Carlyle Mitchell from his loan with lower-division FC Edmonton. Despite having not played since May 26 due to an ankle injury, Mitchell will likely be in the starting lineup for this weekend’s match with the New England Revolution.
The Trinidad and Tobago International will likely be paired with Honduran Johnny Leveron at the center back position. The two players combined have played in just nine MLS matches.