SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San Jose Earthquakes announced today that the club has parted ways with head coach Mikael Stahre and assistant coach Alex de Crook. Assistant coach Steve Ralston has been elevated to interim head coach for the team’s final six matches of the 2018 MLS regular season, while Alex Covelo will serve as an assistant on Ralston’s staff. The Earthquakes have begun their search for a permanent head coach.
“I would like to thank Mikael and Alex for their hard work and professionalism this season,” said Earthquakes general manager Jesse Fioranelli. “Mikael has qualities, both as a person and a coach, that will be missed by players, staff and the front office alike.
“We felt we needed a change and decided that the six remaining games represent an opportunity for all of us to begin heading in a new direction and to evaluate our options actively with a single goal in mind: to strengthen our First Team for the upcoming season and beyond.”
Stahre and de Crook were two of the three additions to the coaching staff ahead of the 2018 season, along with goalkeeper coach Jyri Nieminen. Nieminen will continue in his role with San Jose.
Ralston, 44, joined the Earthquakes as an assistant coach in 2015 after four years in the same capacity with the Houston Dynamo.
A native of St. Louis, Ralston retired from Major League Soccer in 2010 as the league’s all-time leader in assists (135), games played (378), starts (372), and minutes (33,143). He played in four MLS Cup finals for New England and was named an MLS All-Star seven times. He received MLS Best XI recognition three times during his 15-year playing career and is the only three-time recipient of the MLS Fair Play Award in league history.
Internationally, Ralston scored four goals in 36 appearances for the United States National Team, including the game-winning goal against Mexico on September 3, 2005 to clinch qualification for the World Cup.
Covelo, 40, joined the Earthquakes in April of 2017 as the team’s Director of Methodology. He later served as an assistant coach for the Quakes during the last four months of the 2017 season, helping the club reach the playoffs after recording a 5-1-1 record in their final seven home matches. He returned to his original role following the 2017 season, where he’s worked extensively with San Jose’s young Homegrown Players and youth academy.