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Toronto Star, Nov. 7:
Yallop's a perfect match for national squad
by Norman Da Costa
The Canadian Soccer Association has received some 50 applications for the job recently vacated by Holger Osieck. But it is a person who hasn't even applied yet that is apparently the front-runner.
We are talking about former Canadian international defender Frank Yallop who is being touted as Osieck's successor.
Yallop, who earned 52 caps for his country, hasn't thrown his name into the hat as he does not want any distractions while he tries to guide his San Jose Earthquakes to the final of the MLS Cup.
The final is slated for Nov. 23 and once that is done, Yallop will make up his mind whether he wants to continue with a club that he has turned around or return to Canada to lead the national team.
The CSA has stated it will fill Osieck's job by mid-December and it is now becoming evident that it is waiting to hear from Yallop before making its selection. It is also understood that the CSA is leaning toward a coach familiar with the CONCACAF region.
It makes sense as all of the games involving the World Cup or the Olympics are against teams from this area and Yallop has an intimate knowledge of these countries both as a player and a coach.
"I would be interested,'' Yallop admitted. "I know there has been interest in me from Canada, but right now I am not interested in talking about it. The time is not right.''
Make no mistake about it. Yallop would make an excellent coach as his excellent record in three MLS seasons would attest.
The 39-year-old former defender retired as a player after Canada's 1998 World Cup campaign to take up a post as an assistant coach with Tampa Bay Mutiny. He then moved to D.C. United for a year as an assistant before being hired by the Earthquakes as its head coach.
It is with San Jose that he has enjoyed his greatest moments as a coach after inheriting the worst team in the league with a 7-17 record. In his very first year in 2001, Yallop made a lasting impact.
His club posted a 13-7-6 record and created a major upset as it went on to win the MLS Cup.
Not surprisingly, Yallop was rewarded with the coach-of-the-year award.
The Earthquakes, with Canadian goalkeeper Pat Onstad and national team striker Dwayne de Rosario, ended up third last year and were runners-up this year, establishing themselves as the most consistent club in the MLS.
"As a player I loved getting our backline organized and now as a coach I enjoy organizing the team. Coaching is not an easy job, but the journey here so far has been fun.''
Yallop was well-known for his work ethic as a player and had a strong bond with teammates. He brought both characteristics with him as a coach and is highly-regarded by players and other MLS coaches.
Yallop, who joined England's Ipswich Town as a 16-year-old and went on to play 376 times for the club, said coaching the national team would be a bit different than running a club side.
"At the club level you get to know every player on an intimate level, whereas nationally the players are with you for just a few days,'' said Yallop. ``I don't think that you can worry about that (lack of time) because it is the same for all of the national teams.''
Yallop has the right credentials for the job and the other Canadians who have applied for the post will agree he is rightfully No. 1.