With interim coaches in control, St. Louis City, Earthquakes collide

A pair of struggling Western Conference teams will battle when St. Louis City host the San Jose Earthquakes on Wednesday night.

Both sides will be guided by interim coaches.

St. Louis (3-7-10, 19 points) has fared poorly this season after winning the West in 2023 and heads into Wednesday’s match in 12th place in the conference, three spots below the playoff line. St. Louis City have recorded just one point over their past four matches and have not tasted victory since a 3-1 result at home against the Chicago Fire on May 11.

St. Louis City’s most recent outing was a 4-3 loss at the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday that extended St. Louis’ streak without a win to nine matches (0-6-3). Njabulo Blom, Eduard Lowen and Nokkvi Thorisson found the back of the net for St. Louis City in the loss.

St. Louis’ swoon cost coach Bradley Carnell his job this week, with technical director John Hackworth assuming the role as interim coach.

“This was not an easy decision,” St. Louis sporting director Lutz Pfannenstiel said in a Monday press release announcing the firing of Carnell. “Unfortunately, based on our Year 2 results to date, we believe a coaching change is in the best interest of the club as we regroup and look to improve both our performance and our results.”

The Earthquakes (3-15-2) have been even worse, producing the fewest points in MLS (11), the most losses and the worst goal differential (minus-25). They have allowed 54 goals, 10 more than any other team.

San Jose has dropped five straight matches, hasn’t earned a point since a May 25 draw at home against Austin FC and hasn’t won since a 3-2 victory at the Colorado Rapids on May 11. The Earthquakes have been outscored 20-6 during their five-match skid.

The Earthquakes’ most recent outing was a 3-0 loss to the LA Galaxy on Saturday in a match played at Stanford Stadium. Ian Russell served as San Jose’s interim coach for the first time this season.

“This is only the first week with Ian, so a lot of the philosophies have been the same,” Earthquakes midfielder Jackson Yueill said. “There are some new ideas and tactical adjustments. It’s about getting everyone on the same page and executing. We take it game by game.”

St. Louis won both meetings between the teams last season in its inaugural campaign, outscoring the Earthquakes 5-1.

–Field Level Media