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Positive things from Chelis at Chivas USA

Jan 26, 2013, 12:26 PM EDT

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José Luis “Chelís” Sánchez Solá may be trying to impose his ideas on MLS in his early days at Chivas USA, but the analog he uses at the end of’s latest report is an encouraging one. The former Puebla boss likens his new relationship with American soccer as a marriage, one in which both sides will have to make adjustments:

“Until you start living together, you just don’t know anything,” he said. “You don’t know what matrimony is until you’re in it. Yes, I knew about this league, but it isn’t until now that I’ve learned about it. Every day I try to wake up very early and go to sleep very late so I can learn more.”

Perhaps that’s just lip service, but if the quotes reflect his true feelings, it’s an encouraging note for Chivas USA fans. The beginning of the franchise’s history lacked such humility, and as we point out every time an imported coach is discussed in this space, too many minds come to Major League Soccer expecting their approach to meet immediate success. At least Chelis is conscious some adjustment needs to be made, even if the point of his hire is to import a new approach.

And to his credit, Chelis is bringing some ideas north. The idea of pushing for turnovers and converting them into quick chances is not dissimilar to what Caleb Porter will try to go in Portland. In Mexico, it’s a staple of the game, leading to an exciting brand of play that’s rarely short on energy.

If Major League Soccer sees a little more of that, I’m all for it. Attractive soccer comes in a lot of different forms. Chelis seems intent on implementing a specific one, even if some of the revelations he’s bringing may be overhyped. The tape on the field described in the linked piece sounds more like an alternative to cones than some training ground epiphany.

For now, the players seem to be on board, particularly with the communication they’re getting from their new boss:

Added midfielder Jorge Villafaña: “He’s a coach that’s always talking, always giving us tips, and it’s something positive for us. What he says is always a form of encouragement.”

It sounds a like a big change from the last days of the Robin Fraser era. At worst, there’s a new energy around the squad.

  1. crnelson10 - Jan 26, 2013 at 2:24 PM

    Is there such a thing as a Chivas USA fan? I ask because I can’t think of a single instance where I’ve seen evidence of one. I mean, I know people go to their games, but the only time I’ve ever caught a CUSA game was vs. the Galaxy, and I assumed those were all Galaxy fans.

    • charliej11 - Jan 26, 2013 at 4:47 PM

      Well they have a fan base, just because it is smaller doesn’t mean they aren’t great fans. We were watch highlights of a Barca game a few months age and right in the middle of the red jersey fans…we saw someone blending in with a Chivas jersey…pretty cool.

      • crnelson10 - Jan 26, 2013 at 5:58 PM

        Are you sure it wasn’t a Chivas Guadalajara shirt? I’m just saying that I’ve never met one, and never seen anyone online or in any other forum say they were a CUSA fan.

  2. mvktr2 - Jan 26, 2013 at 9:08 PM

    I like most MLS fans enjoy pointing and snickering at the expense of CUSA, especially so since one of the teams I follow is the Galaxy. However Chelis seemed like a decent hire from the beginning. I generally dislike the new ownership’s attitude and the direction he wants to take the club, but fully support his right to do so. However something I heard from 2 Liga Mex. fans online has stuck with me since this hire. Both fans referred to Chelis as a wonderful teacher/very strong teacher of the game. I hear that same thing coming from the article above. One must also recognize that most good teachers are first good students and if Chelis/CUSA are to prosper it will be among his best assets.

    I also fully agree with Richard’s sentiment that MLS and US Soccer in general could use a good dose of pressure-turnover-attack, it’s a staple below the border and is very entertaining to watch.

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