CARSON, Calif. (Sunday, November 4, 2007) -- When David Beckham talks, people listen. So when the Los Angeles Galaxy star told a group of reporters that his embattled coach Frank Yallop had resigned, it led to intense speculation as to where Yallop would land. It didn't take long to find out the new expansion San Jose Earthquakes would be his destination.
Beckham informed his teammates privately at an exhibition game today at The Home Depot Center between the Galaxy (coached by Yallop) and local club Hollywood United to benefit victims of the California wildfires. "Obviously, we're disappointed," Beckham told the media after the match. "We felt that he was the right man. We felt that he's a good manager and a strong character with the team. But, we've all said, he's not walking away. He's looking after himself and he's looking after his family. It's what we would all do. We're sad to see him leave and we wish him all the luck and all the best."
With L.A. president and general manager Alexi Lalas not issuing a statement of support for his coach, it was assumed by many Yallop would be fired. ESPN.com reported Yallop would return to San Jose, which had been without MLS for two years after the first Earthquakes moved to Houston and became the Dynamo following the 2005 season.
Yallop led the original Quakes to MLS Cup championships in 2001 and 2003 before he left to coach Canada's national team for two-and-a-half years.
Two standouts and team leaders of those San Jose title teams were goalkeeper Joe Cannon and attacker Landon Donovan, now stars for the Galaxy.
Yallop, 43, was unable to recreate his success after his departure. Under him, Canada went 8-9-1 and failed to qualify for the 2006 World Cup. He was hired by Los Angeles in June 2006, but he could not rally his troops from a poor start and the team failed to make the MLS playoffs for the first time.
The Galaxy also failed to advance to the postseason in 2007, despite a star-studded roster. Beckham was one of a number of injured players and the intense media coverage, first waiting for Beckham's arrival in July and then scrutinizing his ailments and failure to help the team, contributed to L.A.'s demise, despite a late-season unbeaten streak.
Although the Galaxy was 9-14-7, its 34 points third-worst in MLS, the club gathered a good deal of respect by advancing to the final of the first Superliga before falling 4-3 in a penalty-kicks tiebreaker after playing a 1-1 draw with visiting Pachuca of Mexico.
Riding a seven-match unbeaten streak (5-0-2) in MLS, the Galaxy needed a victory on the last day of the season to make the playoffs but, with Beckham entering early in the second half, it fell to the host Chicago Fire 1-0.
ESPN.com reported a Tuesday press conference has been scheduled in San Jose to announce Yallop's return and the Galaxy would be compensated with a third- or fourth-round draft pick. The webs site also said Yallop signed a three-year contract.
A former Canada international, Yallop played for Ipswich Town in England from 1983-1996 and joined MLS in its inaugural 1996 season to play three seasons with the now defunct Tampa Bay Mutiny. He was an assistant coach for Tampa Bay in 1999 and D.C. United in 2000 before taking over the Earthquakes for three seasons in which he compiled a 41-25-18 (.595) regular-season record.
One of his assistant coaches in San Jose was John Doyle, who is now general manager of the new Earthquakes.
The Earthquakes currently have no players and will build their team through an expansion draft to be held soon after the November 18 MLS Cup final, the regular draft in January and free-agent signings, not to mention trades.
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