Quakes' Yallop nets second MLS Coach of the Year Award


Quakes' Yallop nets second MLS Coach of the Year Award

The pundits didn't see this season coming from the Earthquakes, but it was no surprise to Frank Yallop. The 'Quakes' leader was awarded his second career MLS Coach of the Year honor Tuesday after leading the San Jose to a 19-9-6 record and first place in the Western Conference.

With 114 regular-season wins, Yallop is now tied for fourth in MLS history with Houston Dynamo coach Dominic Kinnear, his former assistant in San Jose.

Hes tremendous, club president Dave Kaval said of Yallop. I think Frank is everything you want in a head coach. He interacts real well with the players. Hes great with management. He has this uncanny ability to develop young players, whether it was Landon Donovan 10 years ago or Chris Wondolowski now or Steven Beitashour.

I think thats a real treasure to have someone like that. You really feel it in the actual locker room because everyone feels so connected to him in that way.

Under Yallop in 2012, the Earthquakes won the Supporters Shield, scored 74 goals and won or tied 28 out of 34 regular-season games one year removed from missing the playoffs.

Yallops team, which advanced to the Western Conference semifinals, scored 10 second-half, stoppage-time goals -- six game-winners and three equalizers. The clubs nine regular-season goals in second-half stoppage were an MLS record. Prior to the playoffs, they had 40 goals after the 60th minute and 22 after the 75th minute.

The Earthquakes finished just two points shy of the MLS single-season points record of 68, set by LA Galaxy in 1998.

Theyll do anything for this guy, Kaval said of Yallops players. Hes like a father figure to them. He trusts in people at times when regular folks would probably kick them to the curb. I think he has a long track record of really seeing peoples true capabilities and getting that or even more out of them.

When you look at the success of Alan Gordon, Steven Lenhart, Chris Wondolowski...everyone...hes all connected to that. Frank got them to believe in themselves and in what were trying to do here with the Quakes. Its just a tremendous accomplishment.

Yallop received a multi-year contract extension in 2011.

San Jose Earthquakes media services contributed to this report.

Dempsey hat trick lifts US over Honduras in statement win


Dempsey hat trick lifts US over Honduras in statement win


SAN JOSE — Bruce Arena's return as U.S. coach reignited American confidence, and his players responded with an emphatic rebound in World Cup qualifying.

Clint Dempsey returned from an irregular heartbeat to score his second international hat trick, 18-year-old phenom Christian Pulisic had one goal and set up three others, and the U.S. routed Honduras 6-0 Friday night to get right back in contention for an eighth straight World Cup berth.

Surprise starter Sebastian Lletget got his first international goal in the fifth minute after Pulisic's shot deflected off the goalkeeper, Michael Bradley doubled the lead in the 27th and Dempsey scored off Pulisic's perfectly weighted chip in the 32nd.

Finding room to maneuver in a central midfield role, Pulisic made it 4-0 just 12 seconds into the second half with his fourth international goal, Dempsey rounded the keeper to score following a Pulisic feed in the 49th, and Dempsey got another on a 23-yard free kick in the 54th. With 55 international goals, Dempsey moved within two of Landon Donovan's American record.

In its first competitive match since Arena replaced Jurgen Klinsmann, the U.S. moved from last to fourth in the final round of the North and Central American and Caribbean region, tied at three points with Honduras but ahead on goal difference, Mexico leads with seven points, followed by Costa Rica with six and Panama with four.

The top three nations qualify for next year's tournament in Russia, and the fourth-place nation advances to a playoff. With a victory at Panama on Tuesday, the Americans could move into the top three.

The U.S. had never before won a hexagonal game by more than three goals.

And oh how the American Outlaws and others among the lively home crowd loved every second of this long-awaited showing, chanting "Michael Bradley!" and "Demp-sey! Demp-sey!" through the Bay Area rain and cool March air.

Then, it was "Bruce Arena! Bruce Arena!"

Gloom descended upon the Americans in November when they opened the hexagonal with a 2-1 home loss to Mexico and a 4-0 wipeout at Costa Rica. The defeats caused the U.S. Soccer Federation to fire Klinsmann, who had coached the Americans since 2011, and bring back Arena, who lead the team from 1998-2006.

Dempsey, 34 and hoping to reach a fourth World Cup, was sidelined from August until this month by an irregular heartbeat and likely was starting only because of injuries to Bobby Wood and Jordan Morris. Tim Howard, the Americans' 38-year-old goalkeeper, got the shutout after returning only two weeks ago from a leg injury sustained in the loss to Mexico.

Geoff Cameron, back from a knee strain that had sidelined him for fourth months, was shifted to right back from central defense because of injuries to others, and Jorge Villafana was inserted on the left.

But there were yet more injuries. Lletget hurt his left ankle on Ever Alvarado's tackle and was replaced in the 18th minute, and defender John Brooks was stretchered off the field, hand over his face, in the 69th due to dehydration.

From the opening whistle, the U.S. played more aggressively than in the latter years of Klinsmann's reign. Arena revamped the midfield, giving a prominent role to Pulisic, who last week became the youngest American to score in the Champions League. He inserted Lletget and Nagbe, who were largely overlooked by Klinsmann last year, on the flanks.

The U.S. went ahead when Jozy Altidore picked up a loose ball and on his second try poked the ball ahead to Pulisic. His left-footed shot that went off goalkeeper Donis Escobar, and Lletget tapped in the ball with his right foot from 2 yards.

Bradley, given his debut by Arena in 2006, doubled the lead when he took a pass from Alejando Bedoya, cut to his left, took four touches and cut the ball back to beat Escobar with one-hopper from about 25 yards.

Showing poise beyond his years, Pulisic created the third goal when he lofted a pass to Dempsey, who allowed the ball of bounce off his right shoulder. Dempsey held off Henry Figueroa and while falling scored with his right foot from 8 yards.

What they’re saying: Let’s go USMNT against Honduras


What they’re saying: Let’s go USMNT against Honduras

The United States Men's National Team faces a critical match against Honduras. 

With an 0-2 record, and currently in last place, the USMNT is on the brink of not qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.

Motivation across the sports world is pouring in for the Red, White and Blue.