CARSON, Calif. – José Luis “El Chelís” Sánchez Solá found a lot of compliments to pay his players for their relentlessness and newfound mentality, which have them near the top of the Western Conference. The Chivas USA manager, however, had harsher words for himself.
Not only did Chelís jokingly describe himself as a “very bad” coach after the weekend’s 2-1 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps, stressing the word “bad” repeatedly, but he also questioned his own bench decisions.
“I made my bench badly,” Chelís told reporters.
Backup goalkeeper Tim Melia, defenders Daniel Antunez, Carlos Borja and Steve Purdy, midfielder Marvin Iraheta and forwards Giovani Casillas and José Correa were Chivas USA’s available substitutes on Saturday night.
The two obvious omissions were midfielder Laurent Courtois and forward Julio Morales. They were healthy scratches, Chelís said of the two players who were both in the starting lineup in the season opener four weeks prior.
Forward Juan Agudelo left in the 34th minute of Saturday’s match with a strained hamstring. Chelís inserted Correa, whose left groin strain had him listed as probable in the pregame lineup, and Correa re-aggravated the injury during the match. Miller Bolaños, who impressed Chelís with a stellar preseason, was out with a sprained right ankle.
So throughout the second half, Chivas were playing at something less than full efficiency.
Chelís breathed a sigh of relief when the final whistle blew, but the lack of attacking players on the bench was concerning. He said none of the injuries, including a minor right groin strain to vital midfielder Edgar Mejia, are considered serious.
“The way we play is very dangerous, with regards to yellow cards and injuries,” Chelís said. “We play to win and we have to react in tenths of a second. The two injuries are muscular, because of the way we play. The good thing is that we don’t have a game next week and I have more time enjoy this one.”
He’ll have time to get his bench issues sorted out as well.