Almost exactly a year to the day of his hiring, Chivas de Guadalajara announced Monday that sporting president Dennis te Kloese, who held the same role with Chivas USA, was fired. Though the official announcement was that he "parted ways" with the organization, the implication is that he was canned.
During the year he was in charge, te Kloese supervised all of the soccer operations for both clubs, including coach hirings and firings and player personnel moves. He was also the main spokesperson for Jorge Vergara, though the owner did come out occasionally and speak publicly.
While many point to the timing and the fact that the teams are going to go through more instability as needless, it must be said that the track record in 2013 was universally poor. Chivas USA finished last in the Western Conference and second-worst leaguewide in MLS this year, while Chivas de Guadalajara finished 17th (out of 18) in the 2013 Clausura and 16th in the 2013 Apertura tournaments.
The question is whether the bulk of the blame lies with te Kloese, Vergara, or other parties (coaches, players, etc.). Given Vergara's track record, which is a single title between the Chivases (2006 Apertura) over 23 Mexican Primera seasons and nine MLS campaigns, and the evidence continues to mount that the problems come from the very top.
In his article on MLSsoccer.com on the firing, Tom Marshall notes, "There has been no immediate word from the institution on whether te Kloese will be replaced and what will be the next move for Chivas USA in terms of naming a sporting director and new head coach."
It's always a great sign when it's unclear if a job is even going to be filled, isn't it? And yes, who knows if this will set Chivas USA coaching search even further back. The MLS combine and SuperDraft is less than a month away, and training camp opens in about a month. As ever, filling an opening with the first warm body to come through the door isn't a smart policy, but time is of the essence here.
We'll let you know more details as they emerge. As ever, stay tuned!
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