Earthquakes remove Watson's interim tag

Santa Clara, CA ( - The San Jose Earthquakes on Wednesday removed the interim tag and named Mark Watson as the club's head coach, signing him to a multi-year contract.

Watson, 43, took over for former manager Frank Yallop on June 7 and led the Quakes' revival in the second half of the season as the team closed out the 2013 campaign with an 11-5-3 record.

San Jose narrowly missed out on the playoffs on the total goals tiebreaker after finishing even on 51 points with playoffs qualifier Colorado Rapids in the Western Conference.

"Mark inherited an adverse situation, but he found a way to qualify the club for the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals and nearly rallied us to an MLS Cup Playoff berth," Earthquakes president Dave Kaval said in a club statement. "We look forward to having Mark on our sideline as we continue to move toward a new era of Earthquakes soccer."

Under Watson's guidance, San Jose went undefeated at home (8-0-1), finished the MLS season on a seven-match unbeaten streak (5-0-2) and registered eight shutouts in his 19 matches in charge.

"I'm very excited for the opportunity. We have a great group here and I'm grateful for the chance to be here on a permanent deal," Watson said in a statement. "I think the club is heading in the right direction and look forward to building on the success we had at the end of this season."