Wilmer Cabrera, Head Coach
The Colombian national joins Chivas USA after serving as the Colorado Rapids' assistant coach under former Colombian National Team teammate Oscar Pareja.
Prior to joining the Rapids, Cabrera spent five years serving as the United States U-17 Men's National Team coach. During his tenure with the Stars and Stripes, Cabrera guided the youth national squad to a successful qualifying campaign and Round of 16 appearances at the 2009 and 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup.
Between 2005 and 2007, Cabrera began working on his passion for developing young players while coaching the U-17/18 team at the prestigious B/W Gottschee Club. The Ridgewood, NY-based team was one of the original 62 clubs chosen as an inaugural member of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.
The former Colombian National Team member from Cartagena is a two-time FIFA World Cup veteran, having competed in Italy '90 and France '98. During his nine-year run with the national team, Cabrera earned 48 caps as a defender.
At age 17, Cabrera began his professional career with Santa Fe de Bogota in 1985. He went on to play professionally for 18 years in Colombia, Argentina and Costa Rica, spending eight of those years with prestigious Colombian club America de Cali.
In the mid-90s, Cabrera became a founding member of Chico Futbol Club and served as the team's first head coach and led the newly-formed club to ascend to Colombia's First Division after just two seasons.
In 2003, Cabrera moved to the United States and played for two seasons with the United Soccer League's Long Island Rough Riders. Upon retirement, the Colombian continued contributing to the growth of soccer in the US as a manager of fan development within MLS. Working in this capacity, Cabrera served as the spokesperson for MLS Futbolito and Verano MLS, two programs aimed at grassroots development of soccer in the U.S.
Paul Caffrey, Assistant Coach
Caffrey joins Chivas USA after serving a two-year stint with as fellow assistant coach with the Colorado Rapids under current FC Dallas Coach Oscar Pareja.
Caffrey and Cabrera have enjoyed a long working career together. The newly-appointed coach served as Cabrera's assistant while at the helm of the United States Under-17 National Team from 2007 through 2012. The duo guided the U17s to successful qualifying campaigns and Round of 16 appearances at the 2009 and 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cups.
Prior to joining U.S. Soccer, Caffrey spent five years as head coach of the men's program at Suffolk County Community College of the National Junior College Athletic Association, where he worked with Cabrera for the first time. A USSF 'A' licensee since 2000, he led the team to two consecutive National Final Four appearances (2003, 2004), which earned him the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Northeast Region Coach of the Year in 2004, and the Region XV Coach of the Year in 2003 and 2006. He also served as assistant athletic director and assistant professor in physical education at the Long Island, NY, college, where Caffrey also earned his strength and conditioning specialist certificate in 2007.
As a player, Caffrey was a four-year starter and three-time captain at Adelphi University in New York, where he earned his BA, MBA and MA. He was named the Adelphi University Male Athlete of the Year in 1991, and selected as an All-American in 1990. In 2008 he was inducted into the school's Hall of Fame, having also spent three years (1997-2000) as an assistant coach for the Panthers.
In 1991, as a member of the Brooklyn Italians, Caffrey helped guide the club to a U.S. Open Cup title. In addition, he finished up his professional playing career with the Long Island Rough Riders of the USL and made the transition to assistant coach and later director of coaching for the club's youth programs.
Born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, Caffrey played with the University College of Dublin Association F.C. in the Premier Division of the League of Ireland in 1984 and 1985. The former midfielder helped lead the club to a European Cup Winners appearance in 1985 and also played in a UEFA Cup match as member of Bohemians F.C. of the League of Ireland from 1986-87. At the international level, he represented the Republic of Ireland with the U-17 squad from 1985-87.
Othoniel Gonzalez, Assistant Coach
Gonzalez joins Chivas USA after serving as head coach for the men's program at UC Riverside since 2004. His stint as a member of the Highlander's staff began in 2001 with the re-birth of the program.
During his tenure at UCR, Gonzalez revitalized the program and set all-time highs in wins (nine) during the 2011 season, leading the Highlanders to their first-ever appearance in the Big West Conference Tournament. In 2012, Gonzalez led UCR to yet another all-time high in wins with 10 and a No. 19 national ranking. Gonzalez was twice named Big West Coach of the Year.
A graduate of Rancho Cucamonga High in 1995 where earned All-League honors, Gonzalez went on to a stellar playing career at UCLA as a midfielder under legendary Head Coach Sigi Schmid. The duo helped lead the Bruins to three Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships and the NCAA National Championship in 1997. Gonzalez graduated in 2000 with a degree in history.
After completing his collegiate career, the Pomona, Calif. native played for the San Diego Flash of the professional A-League as well as the Utah Blitz of the United Soccer League Third Division. In addition to his playing credentials, Gonzalez holds a United States Soccer Federation 'A' license.
Paul Grafer, Goalkeeper Coach
Former six-year Major League Soccer veteran Paul Grafer joined Chivas USA in mid-February as the team’s goalkeeper coach. The 39-year-old arrives to the Goats’ staff after nearly five years in the same capacity with the U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team and four years as a FIFA Instructor.
A College of William & Mary product, Grafer joined MLS in the League’s inception in 1996 when he was drafted by the Colorado Rapids in the Second Round of the College Draft. He went on to play six seasons with the Rapids and the Metrostars.
Grafer also spent three seasons with the Long Island Rough Riders (1996, 2000 & 2005), where he ended his professional career. In 1996, he helped the Rough Riders reach the Semifinals of the USISL Select League while playing under current MLS Executive Alfonso Mondelo. In his last year with the Long Island side, Grafer connected with recently-named Chivas USA Head Coach Wilmer Cabrera, who he followed to the U-17 U.S. MNT. Moreover, the duo collaborated as active members of the MLS Disciplinary Committee.
While working with Cabrera and newly-appointed Red-and-White First Assistant Paul Caffrey, the trio led the young Stars-and-Stripes to successful qualifying campaigns and Round of 16 appearances at the 2009 and 2011 U-17 FIFA World Cup. In 2010, after earning his U.S. Soccer Federation “A” License, Grafer became a FIFA Instructor, helping design and implement the international FIFA Goalkeeping Program.
In 2012, when Cabrera joined the Rapids as an assistant coach, Grafer left the fields to join Student Athlete Financial Education (SAFE), an innovative financial education and career development program designed for college student-athletes by former NFL player and Hall of Famer Donald McPherson. Since then, Grafer has utilized his education and sports experience to support SAFE and Athletes Helping Athletes, Inc., a New York based non-profit organization that addresses complex social issues through the power and appeal of sports.
Kevin Esparza - Director of Soccer Operations
Born in Orange, California on January 11, 1972, Kevin Esparza initially joined Club Deportivo Chivas USA as Team Administrator and Assistant Coach in 2005 after spending two seasons (2003-2004) with the Los Angeles Galaxy as an assistant coach. In early 2012, after seven years with the club, Esparza was named Director of Soccer Operations for the Red-and-White. Having worked at the youth/club, high school, university and professional levels, Esparza brings over 20 years of experience to Chivas USA's Technical Staff.
Previously, Esparza coached the Orange High School men's varsity team to the CIF Championship, where he served one year as assistant coach and three years as head coach. He then continued onto coaching youth clubs like the Irvine Strikers, the Orange Junior Soccer Club and the North Huntington Beach Soccer Club. Esparza also served as Director of Coaching at Desert United Soccer Club in Palm Desert, California. On a collegiate level, Esparza has coached the University of California - Riverside men's soccer team and Chapman University's men and wome's soccer team. Esparza served as a scout and staff coach for the Southern California Olympic Development Program (ODP). He studied and played soccer at Santa Ana College and Chapman University. Esparza currently resides in Orange, California.
Manuel Tejeda - Team Administrator
Manuel Alexandro Tejeda was named Team Administrator of Chivas USA in January 2013.
Tejeda began his career with Chivas USA as a sales intern in 2006, eventually working his way into a full-time position on the Sales team. After completing his education, Tejeda returned to the Red-and-White in 2012, when he joined the Community Affairs department.
Tejeda was born in Orange California on December 19th, 1987. He attended Saddleback High School in Santa Ana, and graduated from California State University, Monterey Bay.
Miguel Torres - Massage Therapist
Miguel Torres, Chivas USA’s Massage Therapist, joined the club in 2006 as an assistant, but has been in his current role since the start of the 2008 season. After graduating from Long Beach City College in 2002 with a degree in Massage Therapy, Torres worked for a chiropractor and with private clients before working with FC Wilmington Juniors Soccer Club starting in 2005.
Born on Feb. 21, 1973 in Los Angeles, Torres was raised in Wilmington, Calif. His parents are from Michoacán, Mexico, and his cousin, Arturo Torres, became the first player in Chivas USA history when he was selected first overall in the 2004 Expansion Draft. Miguel also has two children, Michael and Kylie.