Dominic Kinnear In, Mark Watson out as SJ Earthquakes Head Coach


As the Houston Chronicle first reported and Playing for 90 shared yesterday, Houston Dynamo HC Dominic Kinnear is leaving the Lone Star State and heading back to the San Jose Earthquakes this time as head coach. As a result, the Dynamo are basically trading Kinnear and will be compensated for letting him go, while Mark Watson has been effectively fired of his duties. Kinnear is technically resigning from the Dynamo at season’s end.

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Dynamo President Chris Canetti and Kinnear addressed the media on Wednesday.

“Saying goodbye and letting him go was not an easy thing to do, but it was the right thing to do,” explained Canetti.

As I mentioned in Tuesday’s piece about Kinnear, it is a tough situation. However, it is the right thing to do for all parties involved. Kinnear has coaching roots in San Jose where he coached under Frank Yallop. He remained with the team when they were moved to Houston. In the team’s first two years in Houston, Kinnear lead them to 2006 and 2007 MLS Cup titles.

"“After nine fantastic years, it’s sad and difficult to see Dominic departing the Dynamo,” said Dynamo president Chris Canetti to “We’ve had a great run together, and he’s played a vital role in who we are as a club. We will sorely miss him as a coach and as a person. We understood his desire to return home to San Jose and felt it was appropriate to grant him that wish after all he’s done for us. We wish him and his family the best of luck in the future.”"

For Kinnear, it is a bittersweet moment filled with many emotions.

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Open Cup qualifying for 2024 is underway weeks before Inter Miami and Houston play for the 2023 title
Open Cup qualifying for 2024 is underway weeks before Inter Miami and Houston play for the 2023 title /

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  • As Kinnear heads west to California and a new adventure, the Dynamo’s search for a technical director and then a new head coach will occur. In the past Kinnear served both roles, but this decision by Canetti and the rest of the Dynamo higher-ups sets up Houston for success both short-term and long-term moving forward.

    Report: Dominic Kinnear Leaving Houston Dynamo for Familar San Jose Earthquakes

    Under Kinnear the Dynamo reached the playoffs seven out of nine seasons and reached four Conference Championships and two MLS Cup Championships. It will be hard to replace Kinnear success wise, however, the Dynamo were wise to allow Kinnear to go coach where his MLS roots were planted.

    What are your thoughts on the news? Good move or bad move?