Jose Luis Sanchez Sola

Chivas USA gets their coach, Jose Luis Sanchez Sola


Loyal ProSoccerTalk readers have seen me bang on before about my First Rule of Holes. That is: “When you find yourself in one, stop digging!”

So, Chivas USA … stop digging!

I’m not sure they have with the new coaching appointment announced today.

The Los Angeles- based club, a team best known for its bumbling, for its lack of identity and its “renter” status inside the mighty-by-comparison L.A. Galaxy, has named Jose Luis Sanchez Sola as new manager.

Known as “El Chelis,” he can boast modest success in Mexico’s Liga MX. And perhaps he’ll knock it out of the park here … although given Chivas USA train-wrecky ways as an organization, it’s difficult to like the odds of a four bagger here.

The problem is this: currently, my next door neighbor, who wouldn’t know an attacking midfielder from an attacking tomato, has as much MLS experience as “El Chelis.”  Managers have marched into MLS sans top-tier U.S. experience before and managed to lasso some degree of success.

Gary Smith, for instance, had limited MLS experience when he guided the Colorado Rapids to MLS Cup glory in 2010 – although he had been in the league since 2008, at least.

Hans Backe had zero MLS experience when he arrived at Red Bull Arena three years ago, and he guided New York into the playoffs all three seasons. (Although it must be pointed out that Backe did just get the bull brand boot.)

But those are the exceptions. More often, foreign coaches with no experience in MLS or domestic soccer usually come and go without leaving much of a mark. If you are not counting black and blue marks, that is.

For every Hans Backe, there are two or three Aron Winters. Winter was the last MLS manager hired with no domestic experience, clambering aboard the good ship Toronto FC with no trace of MLS knowledge. And how did that work out for the deciders around BMO Field? The guy was a disaster.

So … cheers to your new boss, ye Goats of Chivas USA. Good luck.

Cisse arrested in sex tape investigation

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Former Liverpool striker Djibril Cisse is embroiled in a bizarre investigation into the extortion of a sex tape.

The 34-year-old French striker has been arrested by French police who have confirmed that are investigating attempts to bribe another international footballer.

[ MORE: Klinsmann sends Johnson home ]

Unconfirmed reports from France claim that the individual in question is France and Lyon midfielder Mathieu Valbuena, a former teammate of Cisse at both Marseille and with the French national team.

According to Reuters news agency, Cisse was questioned because he was familiar with the people involved and in total four individuals were arrested as it is alleged they plotted to ask for money from Valbuena for the sex tape to not be released. It is unclear if the tape is of Valbeuna and his partner Fanny Lafon, or if other individuals are involved.

[ MORE: Dust settles, questions remain for USMNT future ]

Cisse won the UEFA Champions League with Liverpool and scored 24 goals in 79 games during his three-year stay at Anfield until 2007. He also had spells with Sunderland and Queens Park Rangers in the Premier League, while he is currently out of contract after being released by Ligue 1 side Bastia following nine goals in 41 appearances. Cisse is due to appear on the French version of “Dancing with the Stars” in the coming months.

Further reports from France say that Cisse is expected to be “exonerated” and that the existence of the video is “not proven” at this point.

Agent: “There’s no hatred” between Bale, Ronaldo

Gareth Bale & Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid CF
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Gareth Bale doesn’t at all dislike Cristiano Ronaldo — or vice versa — despite what may seem a lukewarm on-field relationship between the two Real Madrid superstars, insists Jonathan Barnett, agent of Bale.

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Instead, Barnett insists that the two men with very different personalities have a healthy relationship, and competition, that pushes each Galactico to be the best player he can be.

Barnett, on Bale’s relationship with Ronaldo — quotes from the Guardian:

“They don’t go out eating every night together, but it’s fine. There’s no hatred there. Gareth is a quiet guy. They’re complete opposites. But I think Gareth can learn a little bit from Ronaldo as well, interacting maybe a little bit. But he wants his own life and he lives it. Gareth is a great footballer, he doesn’t want anything more. He has some very good endorsements but his whole life is to be the best footballer in the world. I don’t think he wants to be the best model in the world or the best underwear seller. That’s not him.”

That’s a hilarious closing quote from Barnett, but he knows exactly how some folks are going to interpret it: “Bale thinks Ronaldo loves himself too much.”

[ MORE: Giroud: “I must harden myself” to unseat Walcott ]

There’s nothing better for the ultimate success of a team than healthy, friendly competition between teammates who are spectacularly talented as Ronaldo and Bale. The former will only be around to perform at his current level for so much longer, but at what point does the latter officially take the torch and supplant Madrid’s biggest star, and how accepting will he be of passing that proverbial torch?