Speculation swirls around Chilean coach ahead of game Saturday in Carson against U.S.

So far no media availability for Coach Marcelo Bielsa has been announced ahead of the 7 p.m. Saturday game at Home Depot Center, incidentally:

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — Chile President Sebastian Pinera wants Marcelo Bielsa to remain as the national team coach, a job the Argentine said two months ago he would leave when Jorge Segovia was elected head of the national soccer association.

Segovia’s election has since been annulled, and Pinera said in an interview that Bielsa should reconsider and not leave “an unfinished project.”

Chile plays the United States on Saturday night in an exhibition game and Bielsa has not made his plans clear. Sergio Jadue, the new president of the national governing body, has said he would try to persuade the coach to stay.

“One should never leave an unfinished project,” Pinera said in a television interview. “All of Chile wants the project to have a happy ending.”

Pinera urged Bielsa to continue coaching through this year’s Copa America — the continental championship in Argentina — and the 2014 World Cup.

“I hope Bielsa stays, and if he wants to stay I am sure practically every Chilean will thank
him,” Pinera said. Bielsa, Argentina’s former national team coach, is popular in Chile after guiding the team in South Africa to its best finish at a World Cup since 1962.

While we’re on the subject, here is the Chilean roster for Saturday’s game.

GOALKEEPERS: Paulo Garcs (Universidad Catlica), Ral Olivares (Colo Colo)

DEFENDERS: Eugenio Mena (Universidad de Chile), Sebastin Toro (Colo Colo), Paulo Magalhaes (Colo Colo), Carlos Labrn (Huachipato), Fernando Meneses (Universidad Catlica)

MIDFIELDERS: Felipe Seymour (Universidad de Chile), Francisco Silva (Universidad Catlica), Luis Pedro Figueroa (Unin Espaola), Felipe Gutirrez (Universidad Catlica), Lucas Domnguez (Audax Italiano)

FORWARDS Edson Puch (Universidad de Chile), Esteban Paredes (Colo Colo), Daud Gazale (Colo Colo)

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