One of the ugliest breakups in sports could finally be coming as the San Jose Earthquakes and head coach Matias Almeyda are set to part ways after three-plus seasons, Tom Bogert reports. A fractured relationship between the coach and the front office got more distant during the offseason and Almeyda wanted to leave prior to the season. While his exit hasn’t formally been announced, the club is reportedly working on moving on from Almeyda.
Despite the drama surrounding Almeyda and the club, he began the season with the team and things got odder by the week, from odd personnel decisions such as playing Jackson Yuiell at center back to skipping media obligations. It has almost felt as if Almeyda was doing everything he could to lose his role. What’s interesting is that the players have backed him by playing hard enough to score seven goals over the past three games.
That scoring has only led to two points, however, as they’ve allowed eight goals during the same period. Almeyda’s man-marking system can be a fun one when things go well, but things can escalate quickly with his unit as the opposition can score goals at an alarming rate.
Things came to a head on Friday when Almeyda said that there was no longer a clause in his contract and that he could leave for free as well as that he would be open to a return to Chivas Guadalajara. Chivas currently doesn’t have a permanent coach after firing Marcelo Michael Leano and the Liga MX side has employed seven different coaches since Almeyda’s departure in 2018. Ricardo Cadena is currently serving the interim coach, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see them at least open a dialogue with Almeyda if he’s available.
It’s hard to view Almeyda’s time in MLS as a success. He managed 102 matches but only won 33 of them while the team has struggled cycling through players during his tenure. This isn’t all down to Almeyda as San Jose also hasn’t had stable leadership in the front office but getting their next hire right will be important.
With the additions of Jan Gregus and Jamiro Montiero, the uptick in quality has already been seen in player acquisition, but now with Almeyda on the way out, the goal is to see the same improvements on the touchline. Seeing what the Quakes and Almeyda do next will be interesting to say the least.