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Quakes name John Doyle GM and ponder venues
by Ridge Mahoney, October 4th, 2007 7AM
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TAGS:  mls


The two men most responsible for the rebirth of the San Jose Earthquakes weren't in attendance, but those who were there- including former Clash and Quakes defender John Doyle, who was named Wednesday as the team's new general manager - heaped praise upon Oakland A's co-owners John Fisher and Lewis Wolff, the money men behind the MLS expansion team. "I think a lot of it comes back to local ownership," says A's president Michael Crowley, who will fill the same role for the Quakes. "The team that was here previously never had that and I think you need that in any sport, baseball or soccer or whatever sport you name. Or whatever business you name, for that matter."

Doyle isn't a partner in the ownership but he's certainly local. Born and raised in nearby Fremont, an All-American at the University of San Francisco and a member of the Clash and Quakes before retiring as a player, Doyle has also spent the last nine years as a director of the Mustangs soccer club. He will handle all soccer aspects of the organization, from picking a head coach and helping select players to uniting the large Bay Area soccer community in support of its pro team. Crowley and Quakes executive vice president David Alioto, who formerly worked for the A's, will head the business side.

"If you know you have an owner and he's right there, not in some other city, it makes a huge difference," says Doyle. "I have all the respect in the world and will be forever grateful to Phil Anschutz for stepping in when he did, but what he did was just keep the team going, and then he moved it, and I don't blame him at all, because as a business it was tough times."

Wolff is finalizing a complex plan by which he will use funds from a residential development to build a stadium near San Jose International Airport. The San Jose City Council meets Nov. 20 to approve his plans, which projects the facility to be ready in time for the 2010 season.

When asked where the team would play until then, Crowley responded, "Good question."

Within three weeks, he said, the team would unveil its location(s). It may play a few games in cities such as Sacramento, where one of the A's minor-league affiliates plays, but the primary site is expected to be Santa Clara University, which can expand Buck Shaw Stadium - home for men's and women's Division I programs - to about 10,000, which would be by far the smallest venue in MLS. Staging games has also been suggested for Stanford University and the Oakland Coliseum, as well as the San Francisco homes for the football 49ers and baseball Giants.

Doyle said he'd like to name a coach within 30 days and stressed that former childhood friend and teammate Dominic Kinnear, for whom Doyle worked as an assistant coach in 2004 and 2005 before the team moved to Houston, is under contract and is settled in Texas as coach of the Dynamo. He wouldn't rule out college coaches as well as current MLS assistants, and didn't address the possibility of former San Jose and current Los Angeles coach Frank Yallop.

Deposits have been received for approximately 1,500 season tickets and at the press conference announcing Doyle's hiring the team also revealed a revised logo and new uniforms. After Anschutz Entertainment Group moved the team to Houston in December, 2005, Wolff acquired rights to the team logo, name, and marks from MLS.

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