[MLS AWARDS]Frank Yallop, who led the San Jose Earthquakes to the 2012 Supporters’ Shield, was named the MLS Coach of the Year for the second time.
The Quakes' regular-season title was a drastic turnaround from their 14th-place finish in 2011. Their 66 points were two points shy of the MLS single-season points record, set by the Los Angeles Galaxy in 1998.
With 114 regular season wins, Yallop is tied for fourth overall in MLS history with current Houston Dynamo coach Dominic Kinnear.
The other two finalists were D.C United’s Ben Olsen and Sporting Kansas City’s Peter Vermes.
MLS Coach of the Year Winners:
2012: Frank Yallop – San Jose Earthquakes
2011: Bruce Arena – LA Galaxy
2010: Schellas Hyndman – FC Dallas
2009: Bruce Arena – Los Angeles Galaxy
2008: Sigi Schmid – Columbus Crew
2007: Preki – Chivas USA
2006: Bob Bradley – Chivas USA
2005: Dominic Kinnear – San Jose Earthquakes
2004: Greg Andrulis – Columbus Crew
2003: Dave Sarachan – Chicago Fire
2002: Steve Nicol – New England Revolution
2001: Frank Yallop – San Jose Earthquakes
2000: Bob Gansler – Kansas City Wizards
1999: Sigi Schmid – Los Angeles Galaxy
1998: Bob Bradley – Chicago Fire
1997: Bruce Arena – D.C. United
1996: Thomas Rongen – Tampa Bay Mutiny
In the aftermath of a 3-2 aggregate playoff loss to the Galaxy a few weeks ago, San Jose players paid tribute to Yallop.
Yallop led in all three voting contingents: club votes (74.14 percent), media votes (63.83), and player votes (58.06) for a weighted total of 196.03.
“It’s been a really fun season,” said Yallop, who ended his playing career in MLS with the defunct Tampa Bay Mutiny before starting his coaching career as an assistant with D.C. United. “Obviously, it could have been better at the end. Again, it was a great accomplishment for us to win the Supporters’ Shield.”
It is the second Coach of the Year Award for Yallop, 48; he won the honor in 2001 after leading a dramatic turnaround with the previous incarnation of the Quakes, which won the title after missing the playoffs the previous four years. His all-time total of 114 wins ties him with his former assistant, Kinnear, on the league list.
“Frank treats you like a man, which is important,” said forward Alan Gordon, who came west in trade from Toronto FC last year and this season hit a career-best 13 goals. “He treats you like a human being and not just a piece on the soccer field. He’s a players’ coach, he takes care of his players, and I really appreciate him as a coach. He lets you play, he doesn’t restrict you too much, and he fills you with confidence.”
After finishing seventh in the Western Conference and 14th overall in 2011 with a 8-12-14 record, the Quakes ran away with the Supporters’ Shield. At 19-6-9 and 66 points, the Earthquakes improved by 28 points and a league-record 11 wins. They scored 72 goals -- 10 of them in stoppage time, another league record – and were only the third team in league history to average more than two goals per game.
The spirit and determination that drove the Quakes to score 40 of their goals in the last half an hour of play is a function of how Yallop and general manager John Doyle set about re-constructing their roster. The Quakes reached the playoffs as the eighth and final seed in 2010 and upset New York in the playoff before losing to eventual champion Colorado. After the 2011 disappointment they set out to add talent while keeping the same battling mentality.
“Any player you bring in has to buy into that, and that’s what Frank believes,” says keeper Jon Busch, a holdover from the 2010 team and thankful the Quakes could acquire Marvin Chavez, Victor Bernardez, and Shea Salinas for the 2012 season. “If you come here and you’re not willing to buy in to our philosophies, you’re not going to be here very long. We know what we’re doing in this locker room.
“It was successful for us and now we have to build on it. We took some big steps this year and we’ve got to continue to take some big steps moving forward.”
Says Gordon, “We’re not robots under Frank. He allows us to be free and creative. He tries not to put too many limitations on us. He gives us ideas and what he wants, but he gets the guys in that he trusts and he likes.”