Chivas USA gets ready for SuperDraft
On Wednesday, Chivas USA said goodbye to Head Coach Martín Vásquez, relieving him of his duties after one challenging season in charge of the Red-and-White. Though the team’s final record of 8-18-4 in MLS action shows how tough a year it was for Vásquez and Chivas USA, it was a difficult choice for the team’s management to make.
The decision came about early this week after the club’s ownership and management met to discuss Vásquez’ future. Though the team thought highly of Vásquez, it was decided that the club would move in a different direction ahead of the 2011 season.
“It was tough, a really hard decision to make,” said Chivas USA Vice President of Soccer Operations Stephen Hamilton. “He put a lot into the club this year, gave us a lot, and nobody wanted to have to let him go. But it was something we decided was necessary.”
Hamilton was also quick to point out that the blame does not rest with Vásquez alone.
“Martín was dealt a difficult hand, with all the veteran players we lost in the offseason,” said Hamilton. “Then Sacha [Kljestan] left for Europe and Jonny [Bornstein] was at the World Cup. It was a very different team this year.”
“In May there were three consecutive games where we gave up last-minute goals to lose,” continued Hamilton. “At various points, maybe if the ball bounces differently, we get different results.”
Despite the changes and bad luck, the team did struggle throughout the year. In May and June, the team endured a six game losing streak, the longest in team history, and the Red-and-White closed the season with six losses in the final seven games. Chivas finished with an 8-18-4 record, good for 28 points, which put the team in last place in the Western Conference and 15th out of 16 MLS clubs. The club missed the playoffs for the first time since its inaugural season in 2005.
“In the end, the results just weren’t there and we weren’t able to turn it around,” said Hamilton. “Ultimately this was a move we felt we had to make.”
Hamilton said that the team has not yet begun to consider candidates to be the next Head Coach of Chivas USA, but that the club will work quickly to find the right person to take the job. With the MLS Cup Playoffs beginning, many potential candidates are still busy with their current teams.
“There’s no specific timetable for this process [of finding a new head coach],” commented Hamilton. “That process starts today. Obviously, the sooner we find the right guy, the better, since we need to start preparing for 2011. But we will make sure to find the right person for the job.”