Martín Vásquez joins Club Deportivo Chivas USA as assistant coach
only footballer to have played for the national teams of the United
States and Mexico -- will collaborate with Javier "Zully" Ledesma as
assistant to Thomas Rongen, who coached Vásquez on the Eastern
Conference Champion Tampa Bay Mutiny team of 1996.
"It's an honor for me to be named assistant coach of Chivas USA
alongside Javier Ledesma", said Vásquez. "I was a player for Thomas
Rongen in Tampa Bay, where despite all of us being from different
countries we managed to play, in many peoples' minds, the best football
in that first year of MLS. With this project, I now feel the same way:
enthusiastic and looking forward to gaining even more fans with the
excellent soccer that Chivas USA is going to play this season."
CD Chivas USA's coaching staff now comprises three individuals with vast
playing and coaching experience in both U.S. and Mexican soccer: the
Dutch-born Rongen, a former championship-winning coach in MLS and
successful head coach of the U.S. under-20 national team; Guadalajara
native Ledesma, who came up through the ranks of Chivas Guadalajara to
win the title in 1987 as starting goalkeeper before coaching Chivas'
youth teams; and now Martín Vásquez.
"When Martín played for me in Tampa Bay, I was impressed by his eye for
the game and always thought he would make an excellent coach," said
Rongen. "He has experience in MLS, knows what it means to be a player in
this league and really represents the kind of player we want to have in
our ranks. Along with Zully and myself, I think we make for an excellent
blend of knowledge and experience."
"Our institution understands and celebrates the Mexican player in the
United States, and who better to contribute to this project than Martín
Vásquez," said Whit Haskel, Senior Vice President and General Manager of
Club Deportivo Chivas USA. "Martín was born in Jalisco, came of age as a
player in Southern California, and has a tremendous rapport with the
local soccer community. With his addition, we now have a multilingual
and multinational coaching staff - unique in professional soccer in the
The 41-year-old Vásquez joins the Chivas USA team after one season as
assistant coach with the Los Angeles Galaxy, where he was worked under
Sigi Schmid and Steve Sampson, the Galaxy's two head coaches during the
2004 season. Vásquez' coaching experience includes two seasons as
assistant with the San Diego Spirit (2001-2002) of the defunct Women's
United Soccer Association, and two years as assistant at Cal Poly -
The native of Yahualica, Jalisco, moved to the Los Angeles area at the
age of 12 and began his playing career in local leagues in Southern
California. After three seasons as a collegiate player at Cal State -
Los Angeles (1980-1983), he returned to his homeland to make his
professional debut with the Second Division team of Mexican club
Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara.
Following a five-year stint as a professional indoor and outdoor player
in the U.S. during the mid-1980s, the defender-midfielder debuted in
Mexico's First Division with Universidad de Guadalajara (1988-1990),
before moving on to Puebla (1990-91), Veracruz (1991-92) and Atlas (1992-
1996). In 1991 and 1992, he played 10 games with the Mexican national
team under coaches César Luis Menotti and Manuel Lapuente. In 1996, he
returned to the United States, where he gained U.S. citizenship and
played for the Tampa Bay Mutiny (1996-1997) and the San Jose Clash
(1998). In 1996 and 1997, Vásquez played seven matches, all as a
starter, in the midfield of Steve Sampson's U.S. national team.