COMMENTARY | The wash, rinse, repeat cycle continues over at Major League Soccer franchise Chivas USA. There is no joke to be made here, as the club's failures stopped being funny a long time ago.
Chivas released a statement via the team's website late Wednesday evening (early Thursday morning EST) that the club had "mutually agreed to part ways with Head Coach José Luis Sánchez Solá," who is better known as Chelís. No doubt was left as to why this decision was made, as Chivas cited "the team's poor performance on the field" in the opening sentence of the press release. Further clarity was provided in the following passage of the statement:
"Since his hiring, Sánchez Solá had at his disposal a competitive team with the institutional premise of a formal interaction, based in communication in which the club listened to his petitions to incorporate players approved by him. However, he was not able to reflect it with results. While serving as Chivas USA Head Coach, Sánchez Solá not always followed the patterns of respect and conduct implemented by Major League Soccer, as well as by Chivas USA."
Chelís has been replaced by José Luis Real, who is the Sporting Development Director over at Chivas Guadalajara. Marco Fabián Vázquez, Technical Director for Chivas Guadalajara's U-20 team, will serve as assistant coach at the MLS outfit.
It's been a rough and even somewhat odd two months for Chivas since they defeated Vancouver Whitecaps 2-1 back on March 30. They have gone 0-6-1 in their last seven league contests, and they are currently dead last in the MLS Western Conference standings. Only DC United, Toronto FC and Chicago Fire are earning fewer points per game than are Chivas at the end of May.
The Chivas news does not begin or end with the team's poor performances on the pitch. Juan Agudelo, who remains the only player to have thus far buried multiple goals in MLS play for the Rojiblancos in 2013, was dealt to New England Revolution earlier this month. That trade was, according to the now former Chivas coach, made without Chelís' knowledge. On May 29, one day after Chivas beat USL Pro side LA Blues 2-1 in US Open Cup play thanks to goalkeeper Dan Kennedy converting a PK, a discrimination lawsuit against the club was made public. Two coaches who had previously worked within the franchise's youth academy are suing Chivas, claiming they were fired because they are not "Mexican or Mexican American."
The lawsuit comes just a few months after the completion of an offseason that saw Chivas controversially overhaul the club's roster. Multiple players were released or traded and then replaced by Mexican/Mexican American/Latino footballers. Many critics, including former New York Cosmos goalkeeper and current New York Red Bulls TV analyst Shep Messing, hit out at Chivas during the spring regarding the team's squad-building practices.
As if all of that wasn't bad enough, Chivas are also the only MLS side averaging under 10,000 fans per home match this season. There were even heavy rumors throughout the first two weeks of May that the league was considering taking control of the franchise before moving it to another city. MLS denied those reports on May 17.
I feel for the diehard Chivas USA supporters and also for the team's players who, in all honesty, deserve better. With that said, that the club is routinely only good for negative press and embarrassing home attendance figures is hardly good for the top-flight US domestic league that is still in its infancy. I'm once again left pondering the same thing as I consider the disaster that has been Chivas USA:
Why can't Orlando City get a MLS franchise?
Zac has been covering New York Red Bulls, Major League Soccer, Tottenham Hotspur, the USMNT and other soccer leagues for Yahoo! Sports since 2010.
- Sports & Recreation
- Chivas USA
- Major League Soccer
- Chivas Guadalajara