As if the situation around Chivas USA wasn't tumultuous enough,head coach Jose "El Chelis" Sanchez Sola has been fired. This comes the same day that a pair of former academy coaches filed a discrimination lawsuit against Chivas USA, asserting that they were fired as part of a Hispanics-only policy.
Chivas USA announced that Chelis will be replaced by Jose Luis Real, who helped lead Chivas de Guadalajara to the 2011 Copa Libertadores final and currently serves as the technical director of Chivas and Chivas USA's sporting development director.
While Chivas USA has been in a bit of a nosedive since starting the season 3-1-1, El Chelis' firing does come as a bit of a shock. The 54-year-old had become the face of the franchise since being hired this past offseason, giving them a personality that players and fans seemed to rally around.
After his blistering start, his glow had started to fade. Chivas USA have gone 0-6-1 in their past seven and slumped to the bottom of the Western Conference. Almost as bad as the results themselves is the way they've been losing. El Chelis didn't promise to necessarily win a MLS Cup, but he did say his team would be exciting and high scoring. During the seven-game winless run, Chivas USA have been outscored 17-4.
Along the way, El Chelis may have also started to rub his bosses the wrong way. When Juan Agudelo was traded for virtually nothing in return, El Chelis made it clear that he had nothing to do with the move. At the same time, he promised "something big" was on the horizon.
Many seemed to think he was possibly referring to a sale of the team. Despite rumors of an imminent deal, though, nothing has changed. Now, it appears, at least one thing has.