The San Jose Earthquakes wasted little time in filling their manager vacancy, and they've done so in seemingly impressive fashion.
Former Chivas Guadalajara manager Matias Almeyda, who guided the Goats to 2017 Liga MX Clausura and 2018 Concacaf Champions League titles, will take over at Avaya Stadium starting next season, the club announced on Monday.
The 44-year-old Almeyda, who had a decorated playing career, will replace the ousted Mikael Stahre, who didn't make it through his first season with the club. Steve Ralston has overseen the Earthquakes in an interim role since Stahre's dismissal last month.
Almeyda was thought to be one of the chief candidates for the Mexico national team job, but instead he'll be roaming the sidelines in MLS for the league's worst team. San Jose, which has posted a 4-20-8 record in 2018, is on the verge of becoming one of two teams (Orlando City being the other) this season to break the mark for defensive futility. It has matched the 1998 Colorado Rapids by conceding 69 goals in 32 games, and barring clean sheets in the final two matches, it will lower the bar even more. After Almeyda turned Chivas's fortunes around in Mexico, San Jose is hoping for a similar result in Northern California.
Almeyda, who also won two Copa MX titles with Chivas, previously coached at River Plate and Banfield in his native Argentina.
“What we saw in Matias was a coach that brought success by creating a culture we strive to emulate,” Earthquakes general manager Jesse Fioranelli said in a statement. “He has demonstrated leadership qualities in Argentina with River Plate and Banfield, as well as in Mexico with Chivas. He has always had a winning mentality, both as a player and a coach, and most importantly, he is someone that knows how to redirect a team in a difficult situation with a commitment to a distinct style of play and youth development.
“Matias came here because he welcomes the challenge of helping our organization open a new chapter after a grueling season. He had several other opportunities available to him from clubs and national teams around the world but made it very clear the Earthquakes were the one he wanted to lead.”