Dominic Kinnear is out as San Jose Earthquakes head coach.
The team announced on Sunday that they parted ways with Kinnear as well as assistant coach John Spencer. Chris Leitch will take over head coaching duties, moving from his current role as technical director. According to ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle, the 38-year-old Leitch will not have an interim tag and will instead take over full-time.
San Jose Earthquakes Part Ways With Dominic Kinnear
Kinnear joined the Quakes in 2015. Over the next two and a half seasons, he compiled a record of 27-31-27. It was his second stint in San Jose, having coached the team in their initial iteration starting in 2004. He led the team to the 2005 Supporters Shield before the team moved to Houston the following year. He remained the Dynamo’s head coach for the next nine seasons, winning MLS Cup in 2006 and 2007.
His second go-round in San Jose was a rocky one, though. The Quakes missed the playoffs in both of his two full seasons in charge. And last August, the club dismissed general manager John Doyle who was initially involved in the decision to bring in Kinnear. San Jose hired Jesse Fioranelli, who previously worked with Italian Serie A side Roma, as Doyle’s replacement in January.
“First and foremost, we would like to thank Dominic for his hard work, professionalism and contributions to this club over the years,” Fioranelli said in a team press release. “He worked hard this year and was a first-class person all the way. This decision was made after a lot of thought and evaluation. We decided that we wanted to go in a different direction as we continue to build the identity of this club.”
Leitch’s first game in charge takes place on Wednesday as San Jose hosts the Seattle Sounders in the fifth round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The team returns to MLS action three days later, playing “Cali Clasico” rival LA Galaxy at Stanford Stadium on July 1.