MLS Insider: Tom Bogert

Official: San Jose Earthquakes name Luchi Gonzalez next head coach

UPDATE, Aug. 17 – The San Jose Earthquakes have appointed US men’s national team assistant Luchi Gonzalez as their next head coach, the club announced Wednesday.

Gonzalez will take over San Jose for the 2023 MLS campaign after the 2022 FIFA World Cup ends in December. The club's interim coaching staff, led by Alex Covelo, will remain in their current roles through the end of the 2022 season.

Before working on Gregg Berhalter’s USMNT staff, Gonzalez led FC Dallas from 2019 until his dismissal in September 2021. They made the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs during his first two seasons, and beforehand he was FCD’s academy director.

“Luchi has all of the attributes that we sought in our next head coach,” general manager Chris Leitch said in a release. “He has had success coaching in Major League Soccer with playoff appearances in his first two seasons and has a very strong track record in youth development.

"His strengths and desires align with our short and long-term goals as a club, and we look forward to him taking the reins after the World Cup.”

At FC Dallas, Gonzalez worked with a host of USMNT players, ranging from Juventus midfielder Weston McKennie and Crystal Palace defender Chris Richards to current MLSers like Jesus Ferreira and Kellyn Acosta.

That background, combined with San Jose’s youth movement, should be a strong fit.

“I’m really excited for this opportunity with one of the league’s founding clubs,” said Gonzalez, who was picked sixth overall in the 2002 MLS SuperDraft by San Jose. “I thoroughly enjoyed working with the club’s leadership team throughout the interview process and was impressed by their vision for the future, both on and off the field. Chris Leitch and his team have put together a solid foundation of players and I’m looking forward to working with them.

"As excited as I am for this opportunity, I’m going to remain focused on helping the US national team be as successful as possible through the FIFA World Cup and I will be ready to give everything for San Jose once that journey is over.”

ORIGINAL, Aug. 16 – The San Jose Earthquakes are finalizing a deal to appoint US men’s national team assistant coach Luchi Gonzalez as their next head coach, sources tell

Gonzalez would remain with the USMNT through the Qatar 2022 World Cup and take over officially after the tournament concludes in December, putting him in charge of the MLS club for the 2023 campaign. He's been an assistant with the USMNT since December 2021, helping them navigate Concacaf qualifying and get drawn into Group B alongside England, Iran and Wales.

San Jose parted ways with Argentine manager Matias Almeyda in April, with Alex Covelo leading the team as interim head coach ever since after previously steering their MLS NEXT Pro squad.

The Quakes sit second-from-bottom in the Western Conference standings, putting them on track to miss the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs for a second straight year. Nine games remain in their 2022 campaign (5W-11L-9D record; 24 points).

Gonzalez's background

Gonzalez, 42, was previously the manager of FC Dallas from 2019 until September 2021. He led the club to the playoffs in each of his first two seasons before being let go towards the end of his third.

Before leading FCD's first team, Gonzalez was the club’s academy director. He originally joined FC Dallas in 2012 as an academy coach. He is renowned for his player development approach, helping guide a young Dallas side while playing attractive soccer.

San Jose have had one of the most successful youth development pipelines in recent years, headlined by homegrown forward Cade Cowell and a young crop that includes midfielder Cruz Medina. They have routinely placed homegrown talent in youth national teams in recent years and aim to take advantage of that with Gonzalez's background.