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.