Chivas USA are moving headlong into another pan-MLS existential conversation. What once appeared like a promising tactical adaption from coach José Luis Sánchez “Chelis” Solá in the month of March has devolved into a series of defeats—six in the last seven fixtures, with one draw, and a -14 goal differential, with 17 conceded and three scored. Things have come to head, with Chelis getting the sack and the club issuing an oddly verbose statement on the matter:
Chivas released a statement via the team’s website late Wednesday evening (early Thursday morning EST) that the club had “mutually agreed to part ways with Head Coach José Luis Sánchez Solá,” who is better known as Chelís. No doubt was left as to why this decision was made, as Chivas cited “the team’s poor performance on the field” in the opening sentence of the press release. Further clarity was provided in the following passage of the statement:
“Since his hiring, Sánchez Solá 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, Sánchez Solá not always followed the patterns of respect and conduct implemented by Major League Soccer, as well as by Chivas USA.”
The club’s poor form comes at a time when the LA-based team remains at the centre of speculation over a possible takeover by MLS, particularly as average attendance numbers bottom out (they’re now below 10,000 a game in one of the USA’s biggest markets). MLS director of communications Dan Courtemanche has long denied the rumours, but some MLS journalists maintain they believe it’s only a matter of time.
Part of the problem has always been the team’s association with its sister club in Guadalajara. Yesterday it was revealed that two former academy staff were suing the club for discrimination, as they believed they were fired for not being “Mexican or Mexican American.”
Toronto FC might feel compelled to make jokes at this point, but be warned:
Chivas and Chelis "mutually agree to part ways" — Chivas USA: Making #TFC seem less crazy since 2007
— Duane Rollins (@24thminute) May 30, 2013
Chivas has three playoff appearances in that time.
— mc79hockey (@mc79hockey) May 30, 2013