Preki, as usual playing his cards close to his chest, doesn’t reveal a whole lot:
“I’ve been here four years and I think we have done a pretty decent job advancing Chivas to a certain level. We’re leaving the club in good hands and in a good way and with a healthy locker room. Hopefully somebody else will take them to the next level.”
A healthy locker room?
Essentially then, whether it signifies a lack of commitment from the club or an inability by Preki to “take them to the next level” both sides believed more progress could be made under the direction of a different coach.
Veteran Jesse Marsch, absent from the team late in the season with a concussion, had more to say on Preki than Phil could fit in his story in the print edition, as you can imagine:
“His personality is such that he is never satisfied and that’s where many people interpret some of his frustration or surliness at times. He’s just the type of guy even when things going really well, say the beginning of this season, who is still never satisfied. He always thought we could do better and that’s the nature of any good coach.
“He was an extremely organized in terms of providing expectations and a structure for what the team should look like, especially defensively. The thing I learned the most was defensive responsibility and tactical awareness. That was his bread and butter.”
Marsch confirmed he is contemplating retirement after the frustrating end of season injury that seems to plague key Chivas USA players and left him watching the team bow out of the playoffs in the first round to the Galaxy:
“For me personally, I’ve been very lucky to be very healthy throughout my career and now in potentially what could be my last season to have to sit and watch the guys go on without me and play in a huge series like that and not be able to contribute was very disappointing and frustrating. I still tried to help out every way could – during the week, before the game, halftime.
“I couldn’t help but sit and watch the team at a moment and wish that you were out there to provide a little bit of leadership and guidance at the end.
“I’m a little unsure (what’s next for me) right now. I’m still dealing with the concussion, trying to recover from that. I hope to get past it and be able to make a clear decision whether I want to play or coach. Once I get to that point, I’ll have a better idea.”
“If it is to coach, I hope to set myself up the right way, have options and have people feel good about what I can bring.”
Here’s Marsch on the concussion:
“I’ve had a few in the past and never really had any lingering effects. This was a bit of a new experience. At first I thought I could push myself to get going, then I realized I was experiencing too many bad symptoms.
“I can be an impatient guy with injuries sometimes. But this is not like a calf injury or a pulled hamstring, where I can push it and still respond. It’s something you just have to wait it out, get your head straight and healed before you go again. The worse thing that
can happen is to get a second impact.”
Chivas USA could do worse than hiring Marsch as an assistant coach.
The decision on the next coach is crucial for a club still in search of an identity.
Do they go with a “safe,” almost institutional choice, perhaps in the shape of former Bob Bradley assistant Martin Vasquez or shake things up with a bigger name?
Fans are reacting here.