With each passing day of what looks destined to be his short time in MLS (whether he sprints out of Home Depot Center at the end of the year or before), it’s difficult not to amass an incredible amount of sympathy for Jose Luis Sanchez Sola. You know him as Chelis. Brought north from Mexico to be a leader and figurehead of a wayward franchise, the Chivas USA boss sounds increasingly like a broken man.
Witness the reporting of Zac Rigg, who was on site yesterday at HDC as Chelis sought to explain another demoralizing performance. Having lost at home 4-1 to Real Salt Lake, the former Puebla man was left with “eyes welled up,” blankly and fruitlessly considering the situation he’s been drawn into.
Here’s what else we learned from Goal’s report:
- “We don’t have the weapons to win,” Chelis said. “The lineup is limited, very limited.”
- Chivas USA reportedly got only $75,000 from New England for Juan Agudelo, the MLS minimum allowed to move in a player sale.
- Chelis was not consulted about the trade and hasn’t talked to Chivas owner Jorge Vergara about potential player acquisitions since the day he was hired.
- Vergara was scheduled to attend Sunday’s match but failed to appear.
The season started with promise, Chivas overcoming an opening night loss to win three of their next four. Now, their manager’s left despondent after games, mumbling to reporters while new rumors are churned in the Spanish-language media.
Soon there’ll be a new story, one that says Chivas USA is going to close its doors. MLS will issue a denial. Maybe it’s a new, high profile owner. But that won’t make sense, either.
All the while, the staff in Los Angeles will be tasked with trying to run a business. And Chelis? Somehow, someway, he’s got to prepare a team to try and win games.
Sometimes, that seems like the least interesting thing going on at Chivas.