BY DAVE MARTINEZ
A chance meeting with New York Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese at last year’s MLS Cup paved the way for Carlos Llamosa to return to New York as the Cosmos’ latest assistant coach.
“(Savarese) asked me how things were at Chivas,” the former Goat’s assistant told SBI, “and I told him they weren’t too stable. There have been a lot of changes.”
That may be the understatement of the year.
Since Jorge Vergara took full ownership of the Chivas de Guadelajara organization, turnover followed. Within short order, Chivas USA was seriously affected by the firings that became common place at their mother club. From the entire technical staff to the team’s head scout and management, a dramatic facelift overcame the struggling franchise.
Llamosa became an unlikely survivor, though that proved to be a short lived situation.
“People know that in football, players and coaches aren’t institutions in their clubs,” he said. “Those cases are rare to see players and coaches with a club 10, 20, 30 years. That is very rare.
“So since August when the team was sold to Mr Jorge Vergara, I knew there would be many changes. These changes would probably affect me as well. I was conscious of that.”
After surviving the onslaught of changes, Llamosa looked to secure his livelihood. He reached out to team President Jose David to get a clear idea of what his future may hold.
“What I told them in November with the Team President was that if I was included in those changes, let me know now because come December, I would practically be done with my work with Chivas,” he explained. “If I wasn’t in the team’s plans for 2013, let me know so I can begin to look for a move to another club. It makes it much easier for me to find a club in November or December.
“I didn’t want January to come around and they tell me ‘no more.’ By that time, clubs already have their technical staff organized. It would be very difficult for me to find a job.”
The club gave Llamosa assurance that he would indeed be a part of the team’s plans moving forward. With his current deal coming to an end, the former defender once again tried to secure his position with Chivas, this time asking for a formal contract.
“In December I had a conversation with the President of Chivas, and I told him please let me know! If I am not in your plans, there is no problem. I can leave, I understand, there are new owners,” he recounted. “No problem, but this is the time to tell me. I have a family and for me, I have to protect my family.
“He said don’t worry. We have you in our plans. I said I want a contract so I can be secure. He said yes we will give you one in January because right now things are difficult. We are organizing things in Guadalajara.”
January came, and his contract remained in limbo. Llamosa was given the responsibility of representing the club at the MLS Combine. As he recounts, the team even rented him a car for the event and told him he would have a major say in the team’s scouting efforts.
Overnight, everything changed.
“The night before the combine, when I traveled from Cali to Miami, they sent me an email telling me not to go to the combine – go to California. I found it curious. I went to Miami anyway and then traveled to LA.”
That is when his telephone bore the brunt of the bad news.
“They practically let me go by text message,” he revealed.
“The next day I went to the President’s office to tell me face to face and tell me why,” he continued. “He gave me no valid explanation. He said it was out of his hands and the decision came from Mexico. I don’t know if it was Vergara or the team’s directors. I really don’t know who made the decision. All I know is the decision was made from Mexico.
“It surprised me,” he admitted. “Not that I was let go by Chivas. Not that. What surprised me was they told me in mid-January.
“What I feared would happen, did happen, in the middle of January. They told me no more, without explanation. That is what surprised me, that is what I didn’t like – not the fact that they fired me but the way they did so.”
That is when he recalled his conversation with Savarese.
“(Savarese) told me just in case something happens, I’d like to speak to you. I told him OK,” he recalled. “When I finally left Chivas, we began speaking again about the possibility of joining the Cosmos. We spoke, I came to New York and met with him and the Cosmos COO (Erik Stover) and we came to a deal.”
For Llamosa, the signing is a happy ending to an otherwise sour end to his career at Chivas.
“The Cosmos project is big,” he noted. “They are looking for players with names, with skill and a technical staff that can manage these types of players.
“I also lived in New York, played in New York, I identify with this city like it’s my home,” he explained. “After I left Colombia, I moved to New York and lived here. My first six years in this country were in New York. It was an important part of the conversation.”
With the debacle that was Chivas behind him, Llamosa now looks to help shape the franchise he so closely followed in his childhood.
“In my profession as a coach, I try to put the same effort I put as a footballer,” he said. “The most important thing for me is to love what I do.
“In South America I know many players, managers, clubs and agents,” he explained. “In Europe as well. Here in MLS, NASL and colleges which are also important. I want to use those contacts to bring in the right players to help strengthen the Cosmos.
“I feel this Cosmos group has a great core and now we will concentrate on signing players and building a strong, competitive team.”
Karma is a b*tch ain’t it, as a personal friend to ex Chivas Usa players, Llamosa only looked out for himself. He never spoke up for players like Jesus Padilla, Lalo Lilingston, Panchito Mendoza, and Mariano Trujillo. All very good players, players that were starters before Fraiser came in. Its part of his profession, his time came oh well I don’t feel bad for him, he should stop crying about it and making people feel sorry for him.
Shouldn’t he be standing in Hempstead, Long Island, where this now imaginary team may one day play games in the second division?
MLS would be so much better off by “micro-contracting” and returning to 18 teams for now. Chivas USA is the single worst thing for this league since the shootout died, and MLS badly needs to give Jorge Verga (yeah, I misspelled it on purpose!) the “Dan Borislow/Team MagicJack treatment” and boot his sorry taint out of the league for gross mismanagement, ipso facto bigotry in hiring practices, and working overtime to bring the league into disrepute!
Chivas USA… Stay Classy.
MLS need to somehow influence the sale of this team and relocation. Period.
chivas sham. glad he landed on his feet, assissants in all sports r alwy placed in these positions
I don’t think anyone even knows what to say about Chivas anymore. If one was trying to aliniate fans and burn every bridge this is how one would go about accomplishing it.
The chivas faithful may soon start to support their local NASL or USL or NCAA team.
Or local MLS defending champions?
Its football @#it happens. You NEED a team to hate. I never like chivas and now I like there NWO attitude (wwe reference) . I hate lenhart and San Jose but I Love to hate them, if.colorado and there Al Gore persona come to houston Yawn!!! Ill skip it. But if lenhart comes I will travel from Austin just to tell.him in person he should consider Aquatics sports with all that diving he does. Bottom line we need this love hate in football.
I guess they might cheer for these guys? http://www.mlssoccer.com/news/article/2012/12/13/gringo-report-different-kind-chivas-usa-oakland
Dude! This kind of story really pisses me off. It’s bad enough that Chivas USA is the laughing stock of the entire league, but that they do this to a guy so well respected in American soccer circles…it’s like they’re trying to piss off everyone and be the most hated team in the league. Well, guess what? Mission accomplished. We hate you.
As for Carlos, congrats with this new opportunity and I hope that he finds a great new career with the Cosmos. Great move by NYC.
The Cosmos don’t play in NYC.
Queens is NYC, the eastern most of 5 boroughs.
They will not play in Queens. They will play outside of the 5 boroughs, on Long Island. If they play.
Belmont Park straddles both the Queens and Nassau county lines, which is a nice touch to remember fans from both areas. I think some of the plans for the new stadium call for each of the goals to be in separate counties.
And at least it’s IN New York. I think you’re being a bit too literal here, Scott.
They have proposed a stadium at Belmont, but they are playing at Hofstra for now.
That Photograph was taken an hour and forty-five minutes from where the Cosmos would play. Good Luck!
Regardless of any geography debates- it is possible he didn’t even mean New York City by NYC, but instead NYC=New York Cosmos. Like how NYRB is used.
Congrats to Llamosa on getting out of there.
I have zero respect for Chivas USA: An embarrassment to MLS.