The San Jose Earthquakes have a Major League Soccer-worst 20 points this season, and head coach Mikael Stahre no longer has a job.
The team fired Stahre and assistant coach Alex de Crook on Monday, while assistant coach Steve Ralston was named interim coach as the team plays out the season, with six matches remaining.
“We felt we needed a change and decided that the six remaining games represent an opportunity to begin heading in a new direction and to evaluate our options with a single goal in mind: to strengthen our First Team for the upcoming season and beyond,” Earthquakes general manager Jesse Fioranelli said in a statement.
The firing came in the wake of Saturday’s home loss 5-1 to Sporting KC, dropping the Quakes’ record to 4-16-8, for the 20-point total and last place in the 12-team Western Conference, four points fewer than Colorado.
The Quakes’ fortunes have been particularly worrisome at home in Avaya Stadium. They endured a franchise-worst 11-match losing streak there, and their two home wins are three less than the next-lowest in the league.
“We came out without energy,” Stahre, 43, told the San Jose Mercury News after Saturday’s loss. “You can talk about game plans, structure and these kinds of things but we’re playing at home, so we at least expect some energy.”
Stahre had previous managerial stints with Swedish clubs Vasby United, AIK and Hacken, Chinese side Dalian Yifang and Greek club Panionios. Those stops included leading AIK to a league title and winning the Swedish Cup in 2009.
Stahre brought a reputation for guiding teams with solid defense when he came to San Jose from Sweden. Instead, the Earthquakes have given up 57 goals, the second-most in MLS this season; their only clean sheet this season was a scoreless tie with Real Salt Lake.
Ralston, 44, came to San Jose an assistant coach in 2015. He held the same job for four years with the Houston Dynamo.
—Field Level Media