Former Chivas Guadalajara manager Matías Almeyda has finally found a new home, as the MLS side San Jose Earthquakes officially announced the Argentine as their new manager Monday.
The Argentine replaces Steve Ralston, who was serving as the interim coach after Swedish manager Mikael Stahre was sacked on Sep. 17. Ralston will remain as coach for the remaining two MLS regular season games, with Almeyda taking over in 2019.
“What we saw in Matias was a coach that brought success by creating a culture we strive to emulate.” - Earthquakes general manager Jesse Fioranelli.
Almeyda has been widely regarded as Chivas’ best manager under owner Jorge Vergara. Almeyda, sometimes nicknamed El Pastor or El Pelado, won five championships during his tenure in Guadalajara: one Liga MX, one CONCACAF Champions League, two Copa MXs, and one SuperCopa MX.
With Chivas, Almeyda coached in 105 official games, winning 49, drawing 32 and losing 24.
Almeyda was beloved by both Chivas fans and players, with many of the latter expressing their discontent with his mistreatment by the Chivas front office and later his subsequent exit from the institution.
The former River Plate and Lazio midfielder also most famously brought River Plate back to the Argentine first division in 2012 as head coach when Los Millionarios were relegated for the first time in their 117-year history. He did the same thing with Banfield in 2014.
Currently, the Earthquakes sit dead last in the MLS table with just 20 points and two games left to play in the 34-game season.
Before this, Almeyda had been linked to a number of jobs, most notably the Mexican National Team before rumors began circulating about questionable reasons why the FMF would not approach him for the position.
Almeyda was also linked to the head coaching role in Costa Rica, and his name was even thrown around at Leeds United before Marcelo Bielsa took the job. Despite all these opportunities, San Jose general manager Jesse Fioranelli said Almeyda “made it very clear the Earthquakes’ [was] the one he wanted to lead.”
Was this a good move by San Jose? Will Almeyda revitalize the Quakes? Do Chivas fans still miss him? Let us know in the comments below!
You can follow Antonio on Twitter @antonio1998__