CARSON, Calif. – They may have the same first names, but Chivas USA will have a much different coach in José Luis “El Güero” Real than they did when José Luis “El Chelís” Sánchez Solá roamed the sideline.
According to defender Mario de Luna, who beginning in 2009 played three years at Guadalajara under Real, the new coach has a milder approach than Chelís displayed in his short time with the club.
“He’s a very different person and coach, especially in demeanor,” de Luna said of Real. “He’s a serious person, while Chelís is very motivational, animated, which is a joy to be around during training. They’re both great trainers, but different with how they go about things.”
Real joined the club on Monday, and will make his debut in the team's US Open Cup match on the road against the Carolina RailHawks next week in Cary, N.C.
Aside from churning out controversial quotes, Chelís raised eyebrows with some of his actions. He prematurely left the Goats bench in two different matches, got into verbal altercations with opposing players and never took a seat.
Those who know Real say they expect him to behave differently, and those just now hearing about his reputation are excited to get acclimated with their new boss.
“Everything we know about him is all hearsay, but I’ve heard great things a few of the guys in the locker room know him,” midfielder Gabriel Farfan told MLSsoccer.com. “We’re excited to get to know him. … We have plenty of potential and a lot of great players we just have to figure out how to put things together and we need chemistry on the field and that’s going to take some time.”
Interim coach Sasha van der Most implemented a 4-3-3 look in last week’s 2-0 loss to the Seattle Sounders, shifting from the three-man backline Chelís preferred. It was unclear what technical changes Real would bring with him.
“He’s a great, great coach and person,” de Luna told MLSsoccer.com. “The results we had in Guadalajara speak for themselves. We reached a final in the Copa Libertadores, which isn’t easy to do. He also had the unbeaten streak there, and knows how to handle all zones of the pitch and manage the squad. You’ll see us get results soon.”