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The last-place San Jose Earthquakes fire coach Luchi Gonzalez

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — The San Jose Earthquakes have fired coach Luchi Gonzalez after the team won only three of its first 19 games this season.

Assistant coach Ian Russell was promoted to interim head coach on Monday, with assistants Steve Ralston, Luciano Fusco and Adin Brown remaining in their current roles.

“We want to thank Luchi for his hard work, commitment to the club and professionalism,” general manager Chris Leitch said in a statement. “Luchi and his staff have worked extremely hard the past year and a half, but we have not met expectations this year as a club. We felt that we needed to make a change, and it was in the best interests of the club to move in a different direction.”

The Earthquakes have the worst record in the MLS at 3-14-2 and are coming off a 6-2 loss to Los Angeles FC on Saturday.

Gonzalez took over the Quakes following the 2022 World Cup, where he served as an assistant to the U.S. team. He led San Jose to the playoffs in 2023 before losing to Sporting Kansas City in a shootout. He had a 13-24-16 record in his tenure.

The 48-year-old Russell has been an assistant coach for parts of 11 seasons overall with San Jose and had a stint as interim head coach for two matches in 2014. He helped the Quakes win the Supporters’ Shield in 2012 as an assistant coach.

He also spent four years as head coach of Reno 1868 FC, the Quakes’ affiliate in the United Soccer League. He made the playoffs all four seasons with Reno.

“Ian is a very experienced coach who knows our club better than anyone,” Leitch said. “He had a great run as head coach at Reno for four years, winning a lot of games and making the playoffs every season. We’re confident that he’s ready to lead us."

Russell also played in 131 games for the Quakes between 2000-05 and was part of MLS Cup champions in 2001 and 2003.

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The Associated Press