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Chelis increasingly sounds like a man broken by Chivas USA

May 20, 2013, 8:13 PM EDT

Jose Luis Sanchez Sola

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.

  1. canis216 - May 20, 2013 at 11:07 PM

    But I don’t want Chelis to go! Can somebody else hire him? Please? We need Chelis press conferences!

  2. danielofthedale - May 20, 2013 at 11:14 PM

    You have to feel for this guy. I mean they sell arguably their most talented play for the minimum and give up what will most likely be a top five pick and send the money they probably got for Agudelo to Philly for the “Other” Farfan! On top of that he is not consulted! I would have liked to see what he could do with a talented team or if given the chance to build a team to fit his system. It would have brought some fresh tactical life to MLS which is always nice.

  3. mkbryant3 - May 21, 2013 at 12:06 AM

    How can you not like this guy? MLS needs personalities like these, especially ones who are good coaches. Viva El Chelis! Soccer’s Socrates. Futbol’s Foucault. Chivas’s Cicero.

    (I’m a Quakes fan)

  4. midtec2005 - May 21, 2013 at 10:02 AM

    Add me to the list of people that don’t want to see him go. He seems like a great guy and he is fun to watch. He has been put in a really bad position… you have to feel for him. That Agudelo trade was completely ridiculous… not to mention many of their preseason trades. It’s almost like the owner was angry that Agudelo was scoring goals so they could win, so he got traded.

  5. tjspamnet - May 21, 2013 at 11:14 AM

    I’m sorry but I don’t feel sorry for this guy. He’s a grown man who took, what was obvious from the start, a tough job. Sure a wacky manager is fun for press conferences but his on field antics are disrespectful and childish. I personally feel he takes the level of respect I used to have for Chivas down quite a bit. Granted Robin Fraiser (not sure if I spelled that right) didn’t turn Chivas around in a season but at least he didn’t wine, cry and throw a fit like a bratty toddler when the game just didn’t go his way. I also feel they have a piss-poor owner, who is most likely the root of the problem however, I feel he is making mistakes with the tools he has to use. Did you watch that Chivas vs. RSL game? His tactics were failing over and over. At some point you have to adjust. I’m not saying I’m a better coach or know more about soccer but that’s just it, he is a seasoned professional coach. He should know how to make decisions during a game to change the current situation. I honestly feel this Chelis character gets far more respect than he deserves.

  6. talgrath - May 21, 2013 at 5:47 PM

    At some point MLS is going to have to realize that Chivas USA are a problem and do something about it; now the MLS owners have a pile of cash they are going to need to put pressure on Vergara to do something to salvage the franchise, even it that something is sell the franchise.

  7. mdac1012 - May 21, 2013 at 6:44 PM

    Time to reboot this franchise. Re-brand it and market it to everybody. They had an idea for this club, it turned out to be a bad idea, time for MLS to cut their losses and start over.

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