Last night, Chivas USA fired manager Jose Luis Sanchez Sola raising further questions as to what the heck Major League Soccer is going to do about this club.
Despite his status as a media darling and leading Chivas USA to a 3-1-1 start, ‘El Chelis’ had since compiled an 0-6-1 record, resulting in his squad’s drop to the bottom of the Western Conference standings.
The Mexican manager, working on a cash-strapped budget since unloading most of its non-Mexican players, offered up little excuse for his club’s recent decline saying (after the recent loss to Real Salt Lake) that his players were doing their best but were merely overmatched.
In terminating his position, Chivas USA released a statement saying that Chelis “had at his disposal a competitive team with the institutional premise of a formal interaction, based in communication in which the club listened to his petitions to incorporate players approved by him. However, he was not able to reflect it with results. While serving as Chivas USA head coach, Sanchez Sola not always followed the patterns of respect and conduct implemented by Major League Soccer, as well as by Chivas USA.”
And with that cryptic statement the question has to be asked: Does Chelis have a future managing in Major League Soccer?
It’s hard to see how the tactician and inspirational leader couldn’t do some good at a side riddled by average coaching. Namely, a guy like Chelis could do wonders at a club like Chicago, Philadelphia or Columbus, where talent is present but the managerial acumen is underwhelming.
And what about the future of Chivas USA in Southern California?
In addition to the poor performances on the field, the club is a disaster off of it – riddled by a reckless front office and a nightmarishly flawed marketing approach, the club has managed to alienate rather than unite the Latino community of Southern California.
Making things even worse is the fact that Chelis’ firing comes on the heels of the discrimination lawsuit filed on Tuesday by former Chivas USA youth coaches Daniel Calichman and Theothoros Chronopoulos. The Americans, both of whom are Caucasian, claim that they were fired because they aren’t Mexican or Latino.
Finally, club owner Jorge Vergara has done nothing to counteract the precipitous decline in attendance that has decreased from 19,840 in 2006 to 8,045 in 2013.
Has the time finally come for MLS authorities to step in and rebrand, relocate and/or reinvent this club? Orlando City fans certainly hope so.