Chivas USA returned to its Mexican roots as expected today, banking on José Luis Sanchéz Solá, once revered at Puebla, to revitalize a lightly-supported club that has lost its way since joining Major League Soccer in 2003.
“We are going to try to implement a more appealing style of soccer for our fans, without forgetting that we are a team that plays in the United States. We will look to appeal to both cultures while obtaining positive results for the club. I feel that Chivas USA, at some point, lost that flavor and technique with the ball that is emphasized in Mexico and Latin-America; we must re-establish that part and combine it with the MLS’ style of play.”
The 53-year-old never played as a pro and three years after joining his hometown team of Puebla was appointed coach of its youth academy in 1995, rising through the ranks to become coach in 2006.
The second division club won promotion and Sola went on to lead them to the semifinals of the 2009 Clausura and quarterfinals of the 2009 Apertura 2009. In 2010, he led Puebla in the Interliga, Superliga and Bicentenario tournaments.
“The arrival of Jose Luis Sanchez Sola marks the beginning of our organization’s new journey,” said Chivas USA President and CBO Jose David. “The owners of the club, Jorge Vergara and Angelica Fuentes, continue working toward giving Chivas USA fans the experience and results needed to have a successful team in MLS. ‘El Chelis’ is a great motivator; he knows the culture of Chivas and will be an important piece in re-establishing the identity of the organization.”
Strange but true: You can argue Sola is the club’s first permanent Mexican head coach; Javier Ledesma was an an interim appointment, Martin Vasquez was regarded as Mexican-American.
Staff Writer Phil Collin had more in Thursday’s newspaper.
What do you think? Will it make any difference to the club’s fortunes?