Yallop encouraged by Dyer

San Jose Earthquakes head coach Frank Yallop was happy to see a familiar face in the shape of West Ham United midfielder Kieron Dyer at this week's friendly between the clubs.

Yallop was coming towards the end of his 14-year stay at Ipswich Town as Dyer emerged through the club's youth system to star at Portman Road.

On Monday, the pair's paths crossed again as the Earthquakes beat the Hammers 2-0 in a specially-arranged match at the Boleyn Ground.

Dyer continued his comeback from a hamstring injury to play for 65 minutes, and old friend Yallop believes the England player has a part to play before the end of the Barclays Premier League season.


"Kieron was a young boy when I left Ipswich in 1996. It's never easy coming back from injury and we had quite a lot of the ball at times, so he didn't really get to show what he can do, but it's great to see him back playing.

"I spoke to Kieron before the game, as I hadn't seen him since I brought the MLS Generation adidas development squad over and we played West Ham in December 2008, so I just hope he gets back to full fitness."

While Yallop was happy to see Dyer back in action, he was understandably delighted by the performance of his own players, who secured victory courtesy of a Jordan Spence own-goal and a smart finish from Jamaica international forward Ryan Johnson.

"It was obviously a good result for us and we did the right things in the game that we were looking for. I was pleased with the outcome and the performance. Everyone was good. It was a good team performance.

"I think it's great for the players to perform at Upton Park. Although there was obviously no crowd in, it's such a fantastic stadium and I think it really lifted our game. We were excited to be here and it really showed in our performance.

"It's been a good trip so far. We had a disappointing year in the MLS last year and we had a lot of guys out injured, but we've added a lot of good players and we're expecting to have a good year."

Looking ahead, Yallop's Earthquakes will play further friendlies against Tottenham Hotspur and Colorado Rapids in London before beginning their 2010 MLS campaign against reigning champions Real Salt Lake in California on 27 March.

After a tough 2009 campaign, which saw them finish bottom of the Western Conference, the Watford-born former Canada international is hoping for better things this time around.

At the same time, the 45-year-old is also looking forward to watching the country of his birth take on the country he calls home at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

"It's going to be a good game at the World Cup. I think England are obviously going to be favourites, but the USA have got some good players and they can beat them. It'll be tough for the Americans, but opening games can be funny, but I'd expect England to win.

"The game continues to grow in the US. We've got a lot of new teams coming into the league. We're at 16 teams and we have another two coming to join us and we'll hopefully get to 20 teams within four to five years.

"All the teams are getting their own stadiums, which is great, because we borrow a stadium at the moment. It will be nice for us and some of the other teams to have a home and hopefully it can really take off."