Photo by John Dorton/ISIphotos.com
By FRANCO PANIZO
The search is over. The man responsible for turning Chivas USA around has been found.
Chivas USA announced on Thursday that they have appointed Wilmer Cabrera as their new head coach. Cabrera joins the struggling Goats after serving as an assistant coach under Oscar Pareja at the Colorado Rapids and has also previously managed the Under-18 and Under-17 U.S. Men’s National Teams.
“I’m really excited and motivated to be joining Chivas USA, as well as very grateful to the organization for the support they have given me,” said Cabrera in a statement. “It’s a big opportunity join an MLS professional club and an institution that wants to be one of the top teams in the league; a team that is not only eager to participate but that also wants to be competitive in MLS. I’m proud to be part of Chivas USA and MLS and I hope that this year the team can show that mindset and motivation in each and every of the 34 games we are going to play during the regular season.”
Cabrera will now be tasked with reviving a Chivas USA side that has been disastrous both on and off the field in recent years. The Goats finished a forgettable 2013 in last place in the Western Conference with a 6-20-8 record and were accused in a lawsuit of being discriminatory towards their players and other employees. They also made a head coaching change a few months into the season, replacing Jose ‘El Chelis’ Sanchez with Jose Luis Real.
Chivas USA last made the playoffs in 2009.
The 46-year-old Cabrera, who earned 48 caps with Colombia during his playing career and played in two World Cups, has no previous head coaching experience at the club level. He did, however, spend five years as the U.S. U-17 manager and guided his teams to Round of 16 appearances at the 2009 and 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup.
In Colorado, Cabrera helped Pareja turn the Rapids into a playoff team in 2013. The young and injury-riddled club reached the postseason after missing out the previous year, but was eliminated by the Seattle Sounders in the first round.
What do you think of Cabrera’s appointment? Is he the man that will finally help turn things around? Would you have preferred to see the Goats appoint someone else?
Share your thoughts below.