Saturday, November 05, 2011

Interview with Frank Yallop of San Jose Earthquakes

Frank Yallop is currently in his second head coaching stint with the San Jose Earthquakes. He served as the head coach of the team from 2001-2003, the Canadian Men's National team from 2004-2006 and the Los Angeles Galaxy of the MLS from 2006-2007.

I recently caught up with Mr. Yallop via an email interview and he provided some thorough answers to questions about the MLS, Montreal Impact and current state of the Canadian Men's team.

Click "Read More" for the full interview and a list of Yallop's on-the-field resume.

MLS related:

Q: What do you feel contributed most to your team's inability to make the playoffs this year?

A: A few things I think. Us conceding a lot of goals late in the games has really hurt us. I think not having a full roster most of the year, in center back and forward positions, has hurt us. We’ve had games where we should have done better. We should get the wins when we should, or at least get a tie or hang on to a tie. We lost to Seattle kind of similar to what we did most of the year. As a coach it’s really frustrating because you’re so desperate to see the game through and get a win. We’ve done it a lot this year, where we’ve just given away points late in the game.

What do you see as the biggest differences between when you managed the Earthquakes from 2001-2003, compared to your current tenure with the club?

A: Number one, we had a lot of great players to start with (from 2001-2003). There were eight or nine guys from that team who ended up being very good in the league. The mechanisms for bringing in players was good for us, I think. If I’m not mistaken, we had three first-round draft picks and three second-round draft picks, so we could pick up the (Jeff) Agoos and Manny Lagos and guys like that. And obviously Landon coming in was a huge, huge bonus for us. The league is different now. It’s not as equal … There are a few teams who spend a lot of money and the expectations change. We made the playoffs last year and we’re very disappointed we didn’t this year, but we’ll get it together and go for next year.

How would you summarize your coaching "style"?

A: I try to let the players express themselves on the field. I give the guys guidelines on how we want to play. Basically I’d like to play great attacking football without giving goals away, but I think every coach wants that. As a unit last year we seemed to get it done and not concede goals late in the game, but this year we did and we’ll have to address that for next year. Coaching style, I’m not too sure what you’d call it, but I’m not a yeller and a screamer for sure. I expect certain things from the players, and they know when they don’t do it, I’ll tell them and they won’t play.

Montreal Impact related:
What do you think of the Impact signing Jesse Marsch as head coach?

A: Good. I think he’s had a good run playing-wise in the league. I think for me it’s a good choice. He knows the league. I think he’ll do well, but I hope not too well!

What are your thoughts on having three Canadian teams in the MLS and do you think Edmonton could be next in line for an expansion squad?

A: I don’t know. I don’t know what their set up is like or anything but I think three is enough right now. If you expand the league too much it won’t be good. But I think the three strong markets are right there – Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto.

Canadian Men's team related:

Q: Do you still keep tabs on the CMNT?

A: Yeah. I speak with Stephen Hart, the head coach, quite a bit to see how the players are doing and to see how he’s doing. I follow the results obviously.

What are your thoughts on the current state of Canadian soccer and where do you see it headed in the future?

A: They’ve had some good results in this round of the qualification. For them to make it more successful, they need to really pump some money into it and it would give the Canadian National Team a good, good chance of qualifying. It’s about quality as well. The quality of players is always important and I think that we have enough quality, but it’s about playing together a lot, too, to make sure they’re a great team.

My Thoughts: 

I think San Jose had some bright spots this year, even though they failed to make the playoffs. Goalie Jon Busch was one of their most steady performers and having perennial goal-scorer Chris Wondolowski up top, doesn't hurt either. I think they are a few pieces away from making some noise.

Via, Yallop's on-the-field resume includes:

For his country's team:
  • Was 26 years old when he won his first cap with Canada's senior team in May of 1990
  • Played for Canada’s World Cup Qualifying team in 1992-93 and 1996-97
For club/professional teams:
  • Played for Ipswich Town (316 games from 1982-1996)
  • Played for Blackpool on loan (three games in 1995)
  • Played for the Tampa Bay Mutiny (88 games from 1996-1998) 

Like the interview? Think another coach or player would make for a great interview about soccer in Canada or the Montreal Impact? Leave your thoughts in the comments below and/or hit me up on Twitter at @MLSinMONTREAL.

1 comment:

  1. It's so awesome that you actually got to talk to Mr. Yallop. Even though you already know a lot about this area, the interview gives your blog that much more credibility. Good post!