San Jose Earthquakes ‘absolutely’ expect Dominic Kinnear to be manager in 2017


The San Jose Earthquakes look set to miss the postseason again, but they are not going to give up on manager Dominic Kinnear. Club president Dave Kaval told ESPNFC that he “absolutely expects Kinnear to return next season.

“I love [Kinnear], he's a great coach, and brings a ton to the table,” said Kaval. “I think he's one of the better coaches in the entire league. His history speaks for itself. I see him as our coach for a long time.

“I think we need to get more support around him in terms of players and infrastructure so he can be more effective. That's really the focus of finding a sporting director or GM who can bring in some fresh ideas, new connections, and a philosophy about how we play, and an identity so we can take this team to another level.”

The Earthquakes fired long-time general manager John Doyle in August, at which time Kaval said, “our style of play got kind of boring.”

That wasn't a comment Kinnear necessarily agreed with, saying “winning games is exciting” and defending the team's play through stretches of the season.

Kinenar's teams have never played the most beautiful soccer, but they have been very good. He has two MLS Cups and two more MLS Cup final appearances in the last decade to show for it. But the Quakes missed the playoffs last season, Kinnear's first with San Jose, and they're currently second from the bottom in the Western Conference this season.

With a new general manager set to take over, there was talk that the Quakes could jettison Kinnear after the season and send the club in a completely new direction. Kaval insists they aren't going to do that, though.

The Quakes are sticking with Kinnear and focusing on how to better support their manager, which is a fair approach. San Jose just opened Avaya Stadium last season and have been open to signing Designated Players, but they haven't spent near the top of the league and are still putting together the infrastructure that other teams in MLS have had for years. If they get that taken care of, maybe Kinnear will be the right man for San Jose. Kaval is betting that's the case.