As if today wasn't eventful enough, Chivas USA have reportedly decided to fire their head coach, Jose Luis Sanchez Sola, aka Chelís, after just 13 competitive games in charge. No confirmation has come from the team, although Chelís' face is no longer on the runner of the front page of the team's official website, as it had been since the preseason (he is still listed as head coach on the website, however, at least for the moment).
ESPN's John Sutcliffe originated the report, and when I publicly questioned his previous reports concerning Chivas USA, including that Rafa Marquez had been traded to the Goats, Efrain Flores would be the coach this season, and Adolfo Bautista was on his way to California, I got several people telling me publicly and privately that this report has real legs. As just one example, Mexico-based journalist San Cadilla responded directly to my skepticism:
Ives Galarcep is reporting that Jose Luis Real is poised to take over the first team coaching duties for Chivas USA, though he also mooted the possibilty of Paco Palencia, who I have also heard as a replacement candidate. Either way, expect Chivas to stay the course and not make any surprise moves...well, always expect the unexpected, but I doubt we'll see anybody who isn't firmly in the Vergara camp at this point.
Perhaps not coincidentally, Chelís went on Jorge Ramos' radio show on ESPN today (Spanish), and had some characteristically odd quotes. Here's a few of the things he had to say:
Concerning the recent poor results of Chivas USA: "Ultimately, the team has to appear."
In reference to Jorge Vergara and Angelica Fuentes: "...I have not spoken with la señora and el señor."
In reference to problems concerning the quality of players on the squad: "The [transfer] window opens in July and it is urgent for me to know what decisions will be made."
No clue on the context here: "I'm paying too much stupidity."
Did he know it was the end? Did Chivas USA decide to wait until he won a game and then fire him? Did they get tired of his candor? Were they trying to distract from the story of the lawsuit filed against the club?
This is still in the realm of "report" and not "official," but based on how many reputable people are running with it, it appears to be a real story. We'll keep you updated as we find out more.
Happy or sad to see Chelís go? Leave a comment below!