Chivas USA have found the face of their revolution.
The club announced on Wednesday that José Luis Sánchez Solá, also known in the soccer world as “El Chelís,” has been named the team’s newest head coach after six years of head coaching experience in Mexico’s Primera Division.
Sánchez Solá, 53, is originally from the Mexican state of Puebla, and is characterized by his intense and passionate approach to the game, as well as his talents as a motivator. He becomes the second Mexican head coach in Chivas USA franchise history after Martín Vásquez’s short stay in 2010, and he replaces deposed head coach Robin Fraser, who was let go in November after he won just 15 of 68 games on the job during the 2011 and 2012 seasons.
“Very honored, very grateful and committed to fulfill the goals of the institution,” Sánchez Solá said in a statement. “I know that with the support of the staff currently in place, my transition into MLS will be that much easier. We are going to take on this new challenge with lots of energy and aspirations.”
“We are going to try to implement a more appealing style of soccer for our fans, without forgetting that we are a team that plays in the United States,” he added. “We will look to appeal to both cultures while obtaining positive results for the club. I feel that Chivas USA, at some point, lost that flavor and technique with the ball that is emphasized in Mexico and Latin-America; we must re-establish that part and combine it with the MLS’ style of play.”
During the 2006-07 seasons, Sánchez Solá served as head coach of Puebla FC, competing in Mexico’s Primera A (Second Division), and led the club to ascend to Mexico’s Primera División.
During his time as head coach of Puebla from 2006-2010, “El Chelíis” led the Camoteros to a semifinal (Clausura 2009) and later to a quarterfinal (Apertura 2009). In 2010, he led Puebla to Interliga, SuperLiga and Bicentenario tournaments.
“The arrival of Jose Luis Sánchez Solá marks the beginning of our organization’s new journey,” Chivas USA president and CBO José David said in a statement. “The owners of the club, Jorge Vergara and Angelica Fuentes, continue working toward giving Chivas USA fans the experience and results needed to have a successful team in MLS. ‘El Chelís’ is a great motivator; he knows the culture of Chivas and will be an important piece in re-establishing the identity of the organization.”
After moving on from Puebla, Sánchez Solá served as head coach of Estudiantes Tecos in the 2011 Clausura season, as well as Correcaminos UAT in 2012. The newly appointed head coach of the Rojiblancos will take the reins of the squad immediately and will work with the rest of the coaching staff ahead of the MLS SuperDraft on Jan. 17.