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Chivas USA to hire Vasquez as head coach

Martin Vasquez (

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Some three weeks after parting ways with former head coach Preki, Chivas USA has settled on its new head coach and the Goats have settled on a familiar face.

Chivas USA will hire former assistant and former Bayern Munich assistant coach Martin Vasquez, sources told SBI on Tuesday. Vasquez beat out former U.S. national team manager Steve Sampson for the job. Former KC head coach Curt Onalfo was among the other candidates to interview.

The early front-runner for the position before facing competition from Sampson for the post, Vasquez will return to MLS after having spent a year as Juergen Klinsmann's assistant with Bayern Munich. Prior to that, Vasquez spent time as an assistant coach for Sigi Schmid in Los Angeles and with Bob Bradley at Chivas USA. This is Vasquez's first professional head coaching position. He also becomes the club's first Mexican-born head coach (unless you count the brief term of interim head coach Arturo Javier Ledesma).

What is my take? Vasquez spent five years as an assistant coach in MLS before his stint in Germany, but is still a relatively inexperienced coach. That said, he is considered more of a player's coach, which Chivas USA wanted after parting ways with a task master in Preki. Onalfo would have provided more experience, but Vasquez's ties to the area and the club's desire to hire a coach with Mexican roots gave Vasquez the edge over two Spanish- speaking non-Latino candidates in Sampson and Onalfo.

With the Chivas USA position now filled, the three remaining posts to be filled are Chicago's, New York's and D.C. United's. All three are expected to be filled in the next two weeks.

What do you think of Vasquez's hiring? Like it? Were you hoping for another Sampson era in MLS?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. not what i typed, i think it makes perfect sense. did i make a claim of racism,NO. i asked a question.You seem a tad racist my man. just for craps and giggles, don’t assume.

  2. From a US MNT fanatic and fan of the Galaxy. RSL won. You can’t diminish that they beat the Crew twice in a home and away, the Fire in Chicago and strung the Galaxy through 120 minutes on a neutral field. That is a deserving champion, as much as it pains me to say. There is no taking away that win.

  3. It is interesting to read how people either “love/worship” a player or coach, then vilify another “player/coach”.

    Sampson did have some success as the National Team Coach. He should be a footnote in national team history. Not put on the “soccer offended fan” list and forced to live under a bridge.

    As was pointed out, he did beat Argentina and Brazil in FIFA competitions.

    He was a part of our soccer education as a nation. We learned from it, now let’s move on.

  4. Yes, you keep fighting that imaginary racism…

    MLS and US Soccer, always conspiring to keep the white man out of a position of power…

    Just for craps and giggles why don’t you run down the list of head coaches Chivas USA has had…

  5. Mexico flurish without Pardo ? you serious ,yeah Mexico finshed the Hex strong , but far from playing good.They can’t rely on Blanco’s play making , his stuff may fly in Concacaf play but not on the world stage

  6. Unfortunately Harkes had to be left off…Sampson had no choice.

    It was the right decision, but very personal situation and so probably not very many will ever know the catch-22 Sampson was put in.

    Too bad Sampson will be judged by this…he is an absolute gentleman not to reveal situation.

  7. I read some article a few months back that gave me some sympathy for Sampson…but still…98 was a horror.

    As for Harkes, I don’t think he would get in sniffing distance of this team at full strength. Who would he displace?

  8. why are there so many Union haters all ready when the team has yet to even field a full roster? Is it just New Yorkers and Washingtonians who already are gearing up for the rivalry and generally hate Phill? (which I get as a Washington native who know lives in NYC).

  9. Oh the memories. ’98 world cup. Thanks for bringing all the pain back. For what it is worth I have zero memory of this Burns you speak of. And I have been actively following the team since the ’90 world cup qualifying (Shot Heard Around the world down in T&T that sent us to Italy. Oh well. A memory for another time). Didn’t Sampson go on and have some success with one of the USMNT youth squads? Or am I thinking of Nowak?

  10. Another Tampa Bay Mutiny reference. Love it. Where oh where is Valderama? (I don’t really understand my recent infatuation with the Mutiny. My apologies. Heck, I never was a Mutiny fan when they existed.)

  11. I think you guys should all check Harkes first, here is a guy that thought he was captain america and was no where near it. He still today thinks he should be the announcer, the coach, and the player, his ego is what was hurting the team. Yes, Burns was a tough choice at outside back, but like you guys said before. The US was limited. Look at the Mexican National Team for example, Aguirre has refused to call up Pardo which was the captain under other teams because he was a virus on the previous teams. Sometimes coaches need to do what’s best for the team, Mexico has flourished without Pardo and remember the US would say, “Stop Pardo and you stop Mexico”, Not no more!!

    I think Sampson would be good for MLS, I also like Vazquez getting his opportunity to showcase what he has learned from all the great coaches he’s been under.

  12. :/

    yeah, if you think all people with brownish skin and dark hair look alike.

    (SBI-I wish I had brownish skin right now. I’m about as pale as I get. Time to hit a tanning bed or take a flight to Cancun.)

  13. Also, leaving Harkes off the ’98 team was ridiculous. Sampson needed to check his boss-man issues at the door, and play the best player the USA had.

  14. Thank God no Sampson–the league needs to give the appearance of moving forward, at least.

    Why does Onalfo’s name keep coming up? His tenure at KC was OK, nothing more, and he fell apart completely at the end.

    Is there some indication that he was given a raw deal with KC? I don’t see on-field evidence that separates his supposed abilities from someone like Hamlett.

  15. Well — everyone feared Sampson was overmatched as a national team coach…fears which were realized with our miserable showing in France in “98. Some team has to be last of 32, but did it have to be the USA?

    The reality is that he was a better coach than most want to admit. He did produce stunning wins over Argentine (Copa America) and Brazil (Gold Cup). He got off to a strong start as Costa Rica’s coach before failing to qualify. And, he did win an MLS title in LA and an NCAA title with Santa Clara.

    I think what most irks people about Sampson is that he kept starting Mike Burns for the USA. Burns didn’t belong on a national side…ever. On the other hand, Sampson’s choices were limited.

  16. this is good stuff I’m not the only one happy most of the UNION ULTRAS were hoping to have Martin as our head coach I’m sure he will take us to the next level !

  17. Maybe it’s because i’m kinda young, and didn’t follow soccer (usmnt or mls)until arena was head coach of the US, but what is wrong with steve sampson?

  18. Honestly, I don’t care who we hire (as long as its not Sampson). Spanish-speaking, Mexican, or whatever. We need to win playoff games, NOW.

    We needed new blood at CUSA. Actually,its more like new/old blood.

    Zero Fool, Martin Vasquez is more Mexican-American than you are African-American. Oh wait. My bad.

  19. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Sampson couldn’t even get hired by clueless Chivas! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Seriously, Steve. Find another line of work.

  20. He will play too offensive a style. He needs to play a 4-5-1. He also needs to make Sacha a rigght back. He should keep better notes on the sideline too.

    You know, my wife loves L.A.!

    I am bitterly disappointed.


  21. A quibble Ives

    You said “gave Vasquez the edge over two Spanish speaking-American candidates in Sampson and Onalfo” Martin Vasquez is an American. He was raised here after the age of 12, played for the US National team and is a US citizen. Perhaps you should have said “Spanish-speaking, American-born”?

    I hope you don’t think I’m being snarky, but I feel this is an important thing to point out.

    (SBI-perhaps I should have written non-Latino candidates. Fair point.)

  22. The hiring makes sense. You say he is inexperienced, but didn’t Preki, Jason Kreis, Peter Vermes and even Peter Nowak have less years as a coach than this guy.

    He was a pretty good player (for Tampa and others) during his career. Now he gets his shot. Mexican/USA background seems a natural fit.

    (SBI-Not sure Vermes belongs in that group just yet after less than half a season, but of the rest, only Preki didn’t have a strong staff behind him. If he hires strong staff I think Vasquez can do well, but a weak staff could put him in a position to fail.)

  23. I like it. It is an interesting choice. Why not give someone else a chance instead of always hiring from the same group of people. Plus he has both MLS and other league experience. Sampson would have been bad news!

  24. I think it’s a goo hire, especially given the management’s determination to market the team to the Mexican community in southern California.

  25. don’t get me wrong, i hate CUSA . . . but i never want to see steve sampson coaching any MLS team ever again. the impact he could have on any potential USMNT players isn’t worth the fun i would have laughing at the failures of CUSA (with sampson)

  26. Wonder if Vasquez keeps in touch with any of his former Bayern Munich players still? Maybe convince somebody like Van Bommel or Ze Roberto to play there

  27. C’mon, with 3 teams and 2 expansion clubs looking for coaches, another Sampson era in MLS could still happen.

    (SBI-No, Chivas USA was the only team that would have hired him, and nearly did. He hasn’t gotten and won’t get an interview anywhere else.)


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