With season over, Chivas USA staff play the waiting game
CARSON, Calif. – Change is afoot at Chivas USA.
For some, that change is already underway. Others, though, are still twisting in the wind and waiting to see if and when the hammer will fall after a dismal season wrapped up last Sunday.
"I'm here today," head coach Robin Fraser (above) told MLSsoccer.com on Thursday. "I'll train the guys through the end of the year. That's all I know."
Jorge Vergara – owner of Liga MX giants Chivas de Guadalajara – took over full ownership of Chivas USA in late August, and José David was named club president while José Luis Real was named supervisor of soccer operations just a week ago. Those two positions seem to have thrown open the door for speculation, and even those on the front lines are uncertain of how and when those hirings will affect them directly.
"All I can control is what I know," Fraser said. "As of today, I'm the head coach of the team. We have some offseason things to do, and we'll do them."
While Chivas are done playing for the season, the coaching staff could theoretically use this time to start laying the groundwork for 2013 – possibly scouting collegiate players ahead of January's Combine and SuperDraft, beginning to mine prospects abroad, and trying to sort out which players on this year's roster could return.
Instead, Fraser is clocking in, clocking out and taking things day by day.
"I haven't had any direction [from ownership] yet," Fraser said. "There's not a whole lot I suppose we can do in concrete plans without direction so, just waiting."
But this much is clear: Strength and conditioning coach Jim Liston said his farewells to players and fellow coaches on Thursday. His contract has expired after two seasons and he doesn't expect to return in 2013.
"With the ownership change and, it looks like, coaching changes, anyone who is a contracted person would have to re-interview for next year," Liston said.
The end for Liston was difficult and perhaps abrupt, as he said the one prevailing sentiment was shared among the coaching staff.
"It's a little bit of sad times, kind of unfinished business," he said.
Still, whatever the future may hold for his colleagues, Liston said the staff is filled with character and class, and that will shine through going forward.
"I hope everybody lands on their feet," Liston said, "and I'm sure the guys who are a part of this staff will land on their feet, whether they remain here or not."
Luis Bueno covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.