CARSON, Calif. – The differences are subtle, for now at least, but there's no doubt there's a new man in charge at Chivas USA.
Players say new head coach José Luis “El Guero” Real hasn’t gone into too much detail about the tactical changes he’s bringing to the club, but they’ve already noticed a difference from how former coach José Luis “El Chelís” Sánchez Solá ran training sessions.
Jose Luis Real: "This is the most important challenge of my career"
“Where Chelís was more explosive and loud, Guero is calmer,” midfielder Jorge Villafaña told MLSsoccer.com on Friday.
Real will stand on the sideline for the first time Sunday morning when Chivas USA and sister club Guadalajara square off in an exhibition match. The organizational friendly will provide the first glimpse of some of his tactical schemes and preferences.
Interim coach Sasha van der Most implemented a four-man backline after taking over for Chelís, and defender Joaquin Velazquez told MLSsoccer.com Real will do the same.
“The match will help us sharpen up what is being asked,” Velazquez said. “I’m convinced that we’ll soon get a positive result, which will help us get out of this struggle. It’s important for us at this point to get that feeling again.”
Said midfielder Gabriel Farfan: “We haven’t gotten into too much detail yet, but every coach brings his own concepts. It’s just a matter of us applying them and learning them as fast as we can.”
At his introductory press conference Thursday, Real seemed excited to take on the challenge. Chivas USA sit in last in the Western Conference standings heading into next week’s game at Vancouver.
“The team has welcomed [Real] well,” Velazquez said. “If there’s anyone that wants to make strides, it’s us the players. Let’s hope with Guero we can do that soon.”