Head Coach Luchi Gonzalez fired by Earthquakes as dismal season looms

San Jose – The San Jose Earthquakes announced on Monday that they fired head coach Luchi Gonzalez after just a year and a half at the helm of the club.

“We felt that we needed to make a change, and it was in the best interests of the club to move in a different direction,” General Manager Chris Leitch said in a press release.

Gonzalez took over the club in 2023 after being named the new head coach of the Quakes following the 2022 FIFA World Cup, replacing Matias Almeyda who also struggled for three seasons at the helm before getting relieved just two months into the 2022 season.

Alex Covelo was the club’s caretaker in 2022 between Almeyda’s firing and Gonzalez’s hire.

“I want to thank ownership, leadership, and our fans for the opportunity and the support they gave me during my time managing the Earthquakes,” said Gonzalez in the same press release by the Quakes. “I am very grateful to all the staff and players that worked hard every day to improve our situation and wish them the very best moving forward. I plan to take some time with my family to reflect and prepare for the next step in my journey.”

Longtime assistant coach, former Quakes’ affiliate Reno 1868 FC head coach, and former Quakes player Ian Russell will take over the head coaching role for the rest of the season. 

Russell also held a quick stint as the interim head coach of the club for a pair of matches in 2014 and was an assistant coach for the 2012 San Jose Earthquakes team that won the Supporters’ Shield.

“Ian is a very experienced coach who knows our club better than anyone,” Leitch said. “He had a great run as head coach at Reno for four years, winning a lot of games and making the playoffs every season. We’re confident that he’s ready to lead us, starting with this Saturday’s game against L.A. at Stanford Stadium.”

Despite an improved 2023 season by San Jose where Gonzalez led the club to the MLS Cup Playoffs as the ninth seed after going 10-10-14 and losing at Sporting Kansas City in penalty kicks, the Quakes have struggled heavily this season. San Jose holds a league-worst 3-14-2 record with just 11 points. 

Their three wins this season tie them with Sporting Kansas City and St. Louis City for the least wins in MLS, all three of which coming in the Western Conference and their last came back on May 11, 3-2 at the Colorado Rapids.

San Jose has also conceded the most goals in MLS so far at 51, seven more than Sporting Kansas City’s 44 goals conceded, and has had major losses recently at New York City FC, 5-1, and last Saturday on the road at LAFC, 6-2. They are currently winless in their last seven matches, losing six of them with a draw against Austin FC as the lone draw in the stretch.

Photo by Earthquakes/Twitter

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