San Jose Earthquakes name Mikael Stahre as new head coach

The San Jose Earthquakes have hired Mikael Stahre as the club's new head coach, with Chris Leitch and Alex Covelo, who spent the final four months of the 2017 season as head coach and assistant coach, returning to their former roles with the club. 

Stahre comes to MLS after time in the Allsvenskan, the top flight in Sweden, having managed BK Hacken to a top-four finish in his only season with the club. The 42-year-old won a Swedish title with AIK in 2009 and has over a decade of experience as a head coach across Sweden, China and Greece. 

“After a thorough evaluation process, we are excited that Mikael will be joining our club,” said Earthquakes general manager Jesse Fioranelli in a team release. “What stood out with Mikael are not only the cups his teams won and his consistency over the past 10+ seasons, but also his ability to identify with our players, our coaching staff and most importantly our goals.”

A miracle finish saw the Earthquakes claim the final MLS Western Conference playoff spot in 2017, though the club suffered a 5-0 defeat at the hands of the Vancouver Whitecaps in their first postseason match. 

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Stahre has a solid history of improving clubs, having taken AIK from fifth place to a title and turning IFK into a contender in his time with the club. 

“I am very proud to be the new head coach of the San Jose Earthquakes and for the opportunity to work with Jesse Fioranelli and the other members of the organization,” said Stahre. “I'm going to give everything I have to the Quakes and I am very excited about being a part of the future of the club.”

The rest of the coaching staff will be announced at a later date.