Frank Yallop left Major League Soccer’s highest-profile player (David Beckham), a marquee franchise (the Galaxy) and the bright lights of Los Angeles to take over the expansion of the San Jose Earthquakes, which was brought back to life after a two-year hiatus. This weekend, Yallop and general manager John Doyle are at the MLS Player Combine in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to scout talent in advance of next week’s SuperDraft, in which the Quakes had the No. 1 overall pick and the top selection in the second round.
What has it been like rebuilding this team from scratch? First, you get the job and then you do the expansion. We’re just starting to see who’s available, who’s tradeable from around the league. We’ll probably have to fill in some holes, and we will fill in with some foreign players.
How would your describe the roster at this point? Goalie Preston Burpo and defender Ivan Guerrero would seem to be the only over-30 players, so [it] would seem pretty young. You take what you can in the draft, and then you add some experienced players to the younger players. We’ve got a nice start with our draft. I’m excited to build something that’s gonna last.
What will you be looking for most at the combine? Players. [Chuckles.] Just the best available players; midfielders, goalies, help up front. We have the No. 1 pick. We may trade it, we may keep it. I have an idea of who we would take.
Who is it? I’m not telling you. [Chuckles again.]