A day after the Chivas organization announced that Jose Luis Real was done as Chivas USA coach and would be back leading Chivas de Guadalajara, it's time to turn our attention to who could become the next Chivas USA coach. With the club's timetable officially "in the near future" on announcing a new coach, who knows when exactly we'll see Real's replacement for the Goats. It could be very soon, but more likely it will drag out for some time.
In the meantime, let's go over some candidates. Nobody has emerged as a bonafide rumor yet, so this is pure speculation at the moment:
Last year's candidates:
Efrain Flores: Was reported to be Robin Fraser's replacement last fall by ESPN's John Sutcliffe. That didn't happen, obviously, and Flores has not taken a head coaching position anywhere in the interim. His last job was with Pachuca in 2012.
Steve Sampson/Ramon Ramirez: The pair were rumored last year to be the coaching team for Chivas USA by Ives Galarcep, just prior to Chelís' appointment. Like Flores, neither have done any head coaching in the last year (Ramirez has no head coaching experience, and Sampson hasn't been a head coach since 2006 with the LA Galaxy).
Carlos Bianchi: The bombshell candidate, who was supposed to join the Goats alongside Argentine playmaker Juan Roman Riquelme, was instead hired by Boca Juniors, where he and Riquelme have enjoyed an up-and-down year. Boca Juniors finished 19th in the 2013 Torneo Final, while they currently sit in sixth in the 2013 Torneo Inicial. Even with the roller coaster form in Argentina, I think that ship has sailed when it comes to Chivas USA.
Jesse Marsch: Has a season of experience as a head coach in MLS, in addition to a career playing in the league. The former Chivas USA midfielder is one of the most beloved team figures by fans, and I think many people believe he didn't truly get a fair shake in his lone season with the Montreal Impact. If Jorge Vergara wants to get serious about bringing stability to this team (something that is obviously unclear), he could do a lot worse than picking a hungry manager who has extensive ties to the league and this team's successful past.
Eric Wynalda: One of the most divisive figures in American soccer, Wynalda may be unafraid to speak his mind, but his coaching track record with amateur Cal FC and the Atlanta Silverbacks shows that he may really have some coaching chops. There is a contingent of Chivas USA fans who have been clamoring for Wynalda to lead the team for years, and while the former striker has publicly said he's no longer interested in becoming an MLS coach, that seems extremely unlikely if he's actually offered a job. Plus, he would be able to remain in LA while he coached, and he's interviewed for the job in the past. Of course, Wynalda and Chivas' management could go together like oil and water, but it seems like a much more sensible proposition to give the job to a guy who knows MLS than someone who is being dropped in from Mexico.
Steve Nicol/Paul Mariner: The duo had some very good times in MLS with the New England Revolution, taking them to four MLS Cup finals and winning a U.S. Open Cup. However, their last couple years with the Revs seemed to be a long slow decline, and Mariner had a disastrous tenure with Toronto FC. They now work for ESPN, and while I doubt either or both of them would consider working with Chivas, I think the league has passed them by.
The "shoot for the stars" candidate:
Marcelo Bielsa: Ok, so Bielsa has reportedly been in contact with Chivas brass in recent weeks, and there were rumors he could take the Chivas de Guadalajara job. Now, the chance he'd come to Chivas USA over Chivas de Guadalajara seems really really small, but we can dream, can't we? Maybe Vergara has wised up, or maybe enough pressure has been put on him from MLS to make him aim a bit higher? Listen, if Chivas USA want to jumpstart interest in a moribund club, going for a dynamite move like appointing Bielsa would garner the team immediate international interest, and could even attract a top player or two.
So, what do you think about these options? Are there other names you'd like to see leading the Goats? Leave a comment below!
More from The Goat Parade:
- 2014 MLS Schedule is out: Chivas USA to play 13 Sunday games, home will be StubHub Center once again
- Juan Carlos Ortega appointed Director of Sporting Development at Chivas USA, Chivas de Guadalajara
- Jose Luis Real appointed head coach of Chivas de Guadalajara, Chivas USA have no replacement ready
- Chivas USA 2013 Player Postmortem: Patrick McLain
- Chivas USA 2013 Player Postmortem: Daniel Antunez