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.
Following last week’s decision handed down by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, Peru captain and talisman Paolo Guerrero has been banned from the 2018 World Cup — at the age of 34, almost certainly his last opportunity to star on the world’s biggest stage.
[ PREVIEW: USMNT hosts Bolivia in shadows of World Cup hype ]
However, in the days since that decision, a number of Guerrero’s fellow professionals and World Cup stars — France and Denmark captains Hugo Lloris and Simon Kjaer, and Australia’s Mile Jedinak — have written to FIFA, on behalf of FIFPro, the world player union, in hopes of rendering Guerrero eligible to pay at next month’s tournament in Russia.
“We respectfully ask the Fifa Council to show compassion,” the trio wrote. “In our view it would be plainly wrong to exclude him from what should be a pinnacle of his career.”
[ MORE: Ronaldo hints at Real Madrid exit | Bale does the same ]
That Lloris, Kjaer and Jedinak are the players lobbying in favor of Guerrero is particularly notable given the fact that Peru will face France, Denmark and Australia in Group C.
Guerrero tested positive for cocaine late last year, after a tea he drank was tainted and triggered a fail drug test.
KANSAS CITY, KAN. — The game in 100 words (or less): Nothing ruins a good game of soccer more than controversies involving the referee — and now that VAR is active within MLS, yet another failure of the video-review system to correct the most “clear and obvious” of wrong decisions. There is no longer any rhyme or reason in deciding whether or not to utilize what could be a very helpful tool. Check the third video further down this page to comprehend the absurdity of VAR in Sporting Kansas City’s 0-0 draw with Columbus Crew SC on Sunday. As for the actual soccer which was played, Tim Melia made one save to deny Gyasi Zardes with a point-blank header early in the first half, and a second to deny Zardes rom the penalty spot just before halftime. Despite being a back-and-forth affair between the league’s second- and third-place teams with a chance to take the lead in the Supporters’ Shield race, there were just six shots on target in total and genuine scoring chances were few and far between.
[ PREVIEW: USMNT hosts Bolivia in shadows of World Cup hype ]
Three moments that mattered
43′ — Zardes wins a PK, but Melia makes the save — Melia was responsible for giving away the penalty kick, and he more than made up for it by denying Zardes moments later.
45+6′ — Higuain puts studs into Espinoza, sees red — Originally not called a foul, changed to a red card following video review. On the softer side of red cards (just an opinion).
59′ — Martinez takes a swing at Sinovic, but no video review — At this point, it’s just time to disband the entire VAR experiment. It’s turned MLS into a clown show and an embarrassment. Signed, someone who was initially in favor of VAR, assuming MLS would utilize it properly.
[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverage | Standings | Stats | Schedule ]
Man of the match: Tim Melia
MADRID (AP) Rayo Vallecano earned promotion to Spain’s top division after beating Lugo 1-0 in a second-tier league game on Sunday.
Alex Moreno’s goal for the hosts in the 40th minute sealed Rayo’s return to La Liga after two seasons away.
Huesca had already secured promotion last weekend with a 2-0 victory at Lugo.
The third team to move up will be the winner of a two-round playoff between the four teams that finish the season from third to sixth.
Malaga, Las Palmas and Deportivo La Coruna were all relegated from the top flight this season.
KANSAS CITY, KAN. — Western Conference leaders Sporting Kansas City host Columbus Crew SC, the Eastern Conference’s second-place side, at Children’s Mercy Park on Sunday with both sides capable of overtaking Atlanta United for top spot in the Supporters’ Shield race.
[ FOLLOW: SKC vs. Crew SC in top-of-the-table clash ]
Sporting KC, who are unbeaten in three straight and have lost just once since opening day (11 games), lead expansion side Los Angeles FC in the West. Meanwhile, Crew SC enter Sunday’s top-of-the-table clash unbeaten in their last six games (four wins) and trail the league leaders from Atlanta by a single point.
Hit the link above to follow along throughout the afternoon, and check back with PST for coverage after the final whistle.