“He’s the guy. We hired him for a reason. We believe in him. … The things we saw in him previously, we still see in him, and I think he’s going to benefit from a year of experience as a head coach. This is his first go as a head coach, so I think he’s learned a lot. And talking to him in private, the conversations we’ve had, I feel good about him, the things he wants to do going forward.”
Vice President of Chivas USA soccer operations Stephen Hamilton made this regretful statement last Saturday to ESPN Los Angeles regarding the side’s head coach Martin Vasquez’s fate, but then four days later the club’s GM and VP fired Vasquez relieving him from duty following just one sub-par season as manager. Vasquez, a former assistant coach to Juergen Klinsmann for Germany’s national team, simply didn’t achieve the results needed to retain his job this year and the 2005 expansion club have now experienced their first season in their brief history missing out on the postseason.
And the poor results this season were certainly not completely the fault of Vasquez’s performance as manager. Chivas USA were going through a serious “transitional” period this season with the loss of their only star player in Sacha Kljestan to Belgian champion RSC Anderlecht this June. The squad’s roster lacked the postseason talent to make a significant run this season and most critics would credit their lack of overall roster talent for the reason why they finished in last place in the Western Conference, but apparently the Chivas USA front office had some second thoughts about their first year coach.
8-18-4 doesn’t cut it though and despite the club’s indecision towards letting Vasquez go, it appears that the poor results were the catalyst to the coaching change. Hamilton, who made no mention of his previous vote of confidence last Saturday, claims that “results” were the reason why the committee decided to go with a coaching change and he appears to believe that the decision was a necessary one to make:
[It was about] results, at the end of the day. We had some tough results this year. I think we were better than our record. At the end of the day, we felt a change would help the organization, would help the team. I think we got together and really evaluated the season and it was a decision of the [club’s] soccer committee that this was a decision that needed to be made in the best interests of the club to move the franchise forward.
So Vasquez appears to be out of Chivas USA, but the side has yet to officially announce a potential replacement. Not that such an announcement would really matter anyway.