San Jose to ink Mark Watson deal
The San Jose Earthquakes are poised to sign interim manager Mark Watson to a permanent, long-term deal sources told ESPNFC.com.
Speaking at the team’s award gala on Sunday evening, general manager John Doyle said that the club had come to terms with Watson. SB Nation’s Robert Jonas then tweeted Doyle’s remarks.
#SJEarthquakes GM John Doyle announced that the club will sign Mark Watson to a long-term deal to be the permanent head coach.— Robert Jonas (@robertjonas) October 28, 2013
Neither Doyle nor team president David Kaval were made available by the club, but a team spokesman confirmed to ESPNFC.com via text message that "the two sides have reached an agreement but no contract is in place." The club is expected to make an announcement on Tuesday.
Watson took over on an interim basis June 7 after San Jose parted company with Frank Yallop. He proceeded to lead the Quakes to an 11-5-3 mark that saw them fall just short of qualifying for the playoffs, as Colorado grabbed the fifth and final spot on the goals scored tiebreaker.
The move comes as something of a surprise. It had long been speculated that Houston Dynamo manager Dominic Kinnear was San Jose’s first choice, given that he and Doyle have been close friends since childhood.
Doyle also served as Kinnear’s assistant in San Jose for two years when Kinnear took over from Yallop prior to the 2004 campaign. But Watson’s performance, as well as the backing of players such as Chris Wondolowski and Jon Busch, appears to have proved instrumental in the club’s decision, with the former Canadian international is now poised to assume the post full-time.