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.

In “pretty good listener” Klopp, Liverpool has breath of fresh air

Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool FC
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In some ways, all managers are the same: intelligent football men messing around with the puzzle that is winning matches.

But to listen to Jurgen Klopp’s introductory press conference is to get a different view. While some managers sound like they create the puzzles, or even create the game itself, Klopp speaks of the challenge with reverence.

[ MORE: Klopp unveiled as “the Normal One” ]

In other words, it seems unlikely we will be hearing him utter phrases designed at painting himself as a Picasso of the pitch, rather that of a museum curator.

For example, here’s the new Liverpool boss on the club’s history.

From JPW on Merseyside:

“Twenty-five years ago [since the last league title] is a long time,” Klopp said. “History is only the base for us, [we shouldn’t] keep the history in our backpack all day. I want to see the first step next week and not always compare with other times. This is a great club with big potential. Everything is there. Let’s try to start a new way. Everything is different – I don’t know it all but I’m a pretty good listener.”

The “normal one” speaks like an honor student, not the know-it-all professor demanding students regurgitate facts from the book he wrote and tossed on the syllabus.

And perhaps this is the manner in which the Reds will add a new, positive chapter to their storied history.

Kreis, Schmid dismiss Messing’s job switch comments

Sigi Schmid
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Broadcaster and New York soccer hero Shep Messing caused quite a stir with his comments during the Red Bulls/Impact match on Wednesday, and those words have cause plenty of reaction in MLS.

If you missed it, Messing claims that New York City FC is ready to move on from Jason Kreis after just one season, and that Seattle coach Sigi Schmid is set to swap jobs with the NYC boss.

Messing also claims that Caleb Porter could end his disappointing run in Portland to head back to college soccer.

Kreis and Schmid disagree. The latter says he loves the Sounders and is committed to bringing an MLS Cup to Seattle. Kreis was just flabbergasted.


“I was watching the game last night, and it caught me completely by surprise. I thought that was an absolutely ludicrous statement and unfounded,” Kreis said after training Thursday. “I have no knowledge of that information at all, and I kind of scratch my head because at the end of the day I’m very happy here.”

So is there any truth here? The Porter part makes sense, especially if the Timbers fail to make the postseason again and the brash coach wishes to go back to a place where he’s had success.

As for Schmid and Kreis, that’s a curious one. Maybe NYC’s star studded roster would like a change, and Schmid has more success with big egos. And Kreis would thrive just about anywhere, but why would NYC ditch a man who built this from scratch? They’ve invested so much in the ex-RSL legend.