San Jose Earthquakes: How Long Until the Stahre Experiment is Over?

San Jose Earthquakes
STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - OCTOBER 22: Mikael Stahre, head coach of BK Hacken during the Allsvenskan match between Djurgardens IF and BK Hacken at Tele2 Arena on October 22, 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Nils Petter Nilsson/Ombrello via Getty Images)

(Editorial) June 10, 2018 – We’re fast approaching the one year anniversary of when the San Jose Earthquakes relieved former head coach and literal club legend, Dom Kinnear, of his duties. Their latest experiment has them at 2-10-3 across both MLS and the US Open Cup this year. It’s clearly not working out well, and one can only ask, “How much longer will the futility continue? When is this experiment over?”

San Jose Earthquakes: Stahre Experiment Over?

I thought it would be interesting to see how the ‘Quakes three head coaches have fared in all competition since 2017. Yes, that’s right. Since the start of 2017, the ‘Quakes have had three separate head coaches. Here is each of their records since 2017 (MLS/USOC/Postseason):

  • Dom Kinnear: 7-6-5 (26 points earned)
  • Chris Lietch: 9-9-2 (29 points earned)
  • Mikael Stahre: 2-10-3 (9 points earned)

If you would like, you could equate that to the fact that the Earthquakes are 11-19-5 since Dom Kinnear was fired.

I’m not advocating that Kinnear shouldn’t have been fired. The team still had its issues and negatives. But, their win percentage has dropped from over 50% to just over 30% thanks to the first 14 games (plus USOC) this season.

The Earthquakes problems in Zone 14 have been well documented this year. Their tactical fralities have been well documented, virtually everywhere. Now, their effort will start coming into question. You don’t have to have any sort of behind the scenes knowledge to know the players aren’t on board right now.

The optics surrounding the player’s performance are that of a team that isn’t behind their manager. If they actually are, then they should probably kick in a whole lot more effort. Until they do, they have me convinced they’ve virtually quit on their manager. Speaking of the guy…

Stahre hasn’t impressed me a whole lot. There isn’t any demonstration of an advanced tactical knowledge, and the ability to win that way. There is no identifiable style other than a selectively lazy press, and extremely direct and an almost too fast buildup play. But I think what’s frustrating here is that they hired someone who is more of a “rah-rah” locker room manager, than a guy who can play the tactical chess game over the long haul.

This was a team, especially after last year, that clearly needed someone who can actually play the tactics game. Someone to come in with an overall vision of how to play, and can execute that from the top, down and through the academy. Stahre isn’t that guy. And if he can’t get a grip on a locker room enough to grind out a result, and not lose a lead in a game twice, then it’s probably time to go.

Since Jesse Fioranelli came aboard, each Manager prior to Stahre was given a minimum of 17 league games to do the job. Both were .500 or above in those 17 league game stretches. Stahre has managed to put together the worst 14 game stretch to start a season since the Earthquakes returned in 2008.

I don’t know how much longer the ‘Quakes can justify running with him as a manager, but it certainly can’t be a whole lot longer. Last night, Avaya stadium was virtually empty, with an LA team coming to town. Fans are despondent on social media, and many are quite angry at this point.

At some point soon, Fioranelli will have to do or say something. Either double down on this investment hoping it doesn’t cost him more than it already has, or end it before they’re in too large of a whole to dig out of. The clock is ticking…

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  1. “If you would like, you could equate that to the fact that the Earthquakes are 11-19-5 since Dom Kinnear was fired.” No that would be dumb… You wanna love up Dom, pretend Leitch was never there rather than group him in with “Blank” Stahre.


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