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Earthquakes adjusting to new coach

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The San Jose Earthquakes are making quick adjustments to the new guy in charge.

Mark Watson, who had been an assistant coach with the team since 2010, took over as coach of the struggling Earthquakes in early June and quickly picked up a win in his first game.

"There is a little transition," Watson said. "I've been at the club for a long time and it's very familiar in many ways, but it's obviously different now that I have the final say. The most important thing is that the players have been excellent. ... Their professionalism has always been fantastic and that hasn't changed these past few weeks."

The Earthquakes (4-6-6) had not won a match in a month prior to former coach Frank Yallop's dismissal on June 8 and had only collected a single point in that time. This came a year after San Jose finished with the best record in MLS.

"Mark made it pretty clear there weren't going to be big changes," forward Alan Gordon said. "Obviously we need to take care of some issues which Frank was going to take care of as well. ... Mark's going to try to tighten us up and get us working more as a unit. It wasn't hard to see."

San Jose beat Colorado 2-1 on Saturday and sits in eighth place in the Western Conference, but only three points behind Los Angeles and Seattle for the fifth playoff spot. The recent win has some of the players thinking the tide is about to turn.

"I think we've all felt that," Gordon said. "I think we still have work to do as a team. That was a good result. It was a good effort from us and it's good going forward."

Part of the transition has been the addition of new assistant coach Nick Dasovic, which the team announced on Tuesday.

He had played along with Watson for the Canadian national team and served as a player-coach between 2002 and 2005 for Vancouver among various other stops.

"I have complete faith in him to help organize training and run major parts of training because he knows his stuff," Watson said. "It lets me observes as much as run training sessions at times. That's a coach's dream."

The Earthquakes will get another shot in the arm with the return of two of their Honduran players, Victor Bernardez and Marvin Chavez, who were away playing with the Honduras national team in World Cup qualifiers.

San Jose hits the road this weekend to take on D.C. United on Saturday before returning home to face Los Angeles at Stanford Stadium on June 29.

NEXT GAME

Earthquakes at D.C. United

WHEN: Saturday, 4 p.m.

WHERE: RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C.

TV: Comcast SportsNet California