Home NASL & USL FC Edmonton Yallop’s return to MLS boosts Canadian content: We now have two coaches in MLS, three in NASL

Yallop’s return to MLS boosts Canadian content: We now have two coaches in MLS, three in NASL


Of course, a lot of the talk in Canadian soccer circles will go along the lines of “what will the Vancouver Whitecaps do now?” Until news broke Wednesday that Frank Yallop was taking the Chicago Fire job, there was an MLS-wide assumption that the former Canadian national teamer was going to come home and take over the Whitecaps.

But, we all know how the word “assume” breaks down, don’t we?

Lets put aside the question of what will the Whitecaps do, and see what Yallop’s return to the MLS coaching fraternity means for Canadian soccer. We’re going to put country over club, here.

Now that Yallop is back in the realm of the employed (confirmed Thursday), he join San Jose coach Mark Watson (and Yallop’s former assistant) as Canadian coaches in MLS.

Now add to that the fact there are three Canadian coaches currently employed in NASL: FC Edmonton’s Colin Miller, San Antonio Scorpions interim boss Alen Marcina and Ottawa Fury head man Marc Dos Santos. Yes, we include Dos Santos because, even though the Fury won’t begin NASL play till 2014, Dos Santos is already working to identify players and hire his staff.

That’s five Canadian coaches in North America’s top two leagues.

If we talk about Canadian player development, we need to talk about coaching development, too. And, just like players, for coaches to develop, they need to know that there will be opportunities for them to advance. They need to know there will be jobs out there.

Frank Yallop, as coach of the Earthquakes. PHOTO: RYAN KNAPP

“We’ve always had good people,” Miller said. “It’s just that we never got the chances before.”

And, at this moment, the fact there are five Canadians employed as coaches, that four of them are locks to be back in 2014 — we’ll wait and see what the Scorpions do with Marcina — is a high-water mark for this country in the professional game.

After Yallop and the Quakes parted ways in June, Watson turned around the team’s fortunes, leading them to an 11-5-3 record. It wasn’t good enough to get to the playoffs, but it was good enough to allow Watson to have the “interim” tag removed from his coaching status.

Yallop has the two MLS Cups under his belt.

San Antonio has just three wins this fall NASL season, but Marcina led them to all of them, as he replaced Tim Hankinson after the Scorpions went 0-4-0 to start the season. The team is now 3-9-1. Still a last-place club, but there have been positive signs since Marcina took over.

Miller’s FC Edmonton is currently in second-last in the NASL fall table with a game to go, but the former Canadian national-team interim coach has been given a full vote of confidence by owner Tom Fath.

But what’s encouraging is that Canadian coaches are also bringing in Canadian assistants.

Nick Dasovic, once a candidate for the FC Edmonton job, is Watson’s No. 2 in San Jose.

Miller’s staff includes assistant Jeff Paulus (who predates Miller at FCE) and reserves team coach Eric Munoz.

And Ottawa hired former national teamer and Whitecaps’ fixture Martin Nash to assist Dos Santos. Philip Dos Santos, who is also working with the Canadian youth program, is Ottawa’s technical director.

We should also remember that, during one of Marco Schallibaum’s many suspensions, Impact assistant Mauro Biello got his first MLS win as the coach of the team.

While we may be frustrated on the lack of opportunities provided to Canadian players in North America and Europe, we are seeing Canadian coaches busting through what was once a significant glass ceiling.

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  1. james

    November 1, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    Great to see Yallop heading to Chicago. Knew it wouldn’t be Vancouver but he will do great with the Fire. It’s a shame that Miller continues to have a job but I think there are lots of great Canadian coaches coming up. I’m rather excited to see how Martin Nash develops in Ottawa and I believe that Jeff Paulus in Edmonton will be one to watch too.

  2. Ray

    October 31, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    Good news!

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