When Jorge Vergara broke his silence and held a press conference devoted to Chivas USA on November 13, he discussed many points about the team and its future, and garnered considerable headlines in the process. Perhaps one of the most anticipated remarks he made from the perspective of Chivas USA's fans was that the club would use Dutch legend and Chivas de Guadalajara consultant Johan Cruyff to help select a new head coach to replace Robin Fraser and announce the new hire within 10 days. In the meantime, fans have tweeted about Vergara's self-imposed deadline regularly, to keep it on the radar.
Newsflash: It has now been more than two weeks since Vergara's press conference, and Chivas USA have not hired a head coach yet. Is this expired deadline significant?
Frankly, you can look at it in two ways. The philosophical answer is that if the next coach is ultimately the right coach, one who leads the team out of the basement and into a sustained winning culture, then blowing past the 10 day deadline will be completely irrelevant. In the end, all anybody wants is a smart coach who can be successful with the club.
On the other hand, the declaration of the deadline and then the lack of follow-through, or at least any sort of follow-up announcement or clarification from Vergara or the club, is a bad sign. Why tell people you'll hire a coach by a certain time and then ignore that? Why tell people that the club is going to enter a new era and then return to business as usual? There's absolutely no reason to say things you don't really mean. Chivas USA fans deal with a ton of garbage, from other teams' fans, from the national media, and they don't want to deal with poor treatment from the ownership and management as well.
Again, hiring somebody (or multiple people, considering Chivas now need a coach and a GM) in a hurry for the sake of hiring somebody isn't the way to go. But MLS offseason roster events are coming at a fast clip, with the re-entry draft set to begin next week. Considering the team is making roster moves in the absence of a coach or GM, they don't necessarily need the next management team in place, but come on. Making roster moves without the input of the head coach is usually a recipe for disaster. Add to that the likelihood that the new coach will not have MLS experience (then again, who knows what to believe at this point, right?) and letting key days in the offseason slip away without the new regime in place sounds like a terrible idea.
For good measure, I checked with the club for official word this week and was told they were still evaluating a "couple of candidates." Hopefully, that means that a coach will be announced soon. The team has a huge decision to make, and shouldn't make it lightly. But let's hope that in addition to hiring a coach, Vergara has truly started working towards building a stadium for Chivas USA, like he said he was going to do in the press conference, and that the stadium remark wasn't more hot air.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!