Luchi Gonzalez will remain assistant coach with the USMNT through the 2022 World Cup before taking over in San Jose. John Dorton/ISI Photos/Getty Images
The San Jose Earthquakes have confirmed the appointment of United States men’s national team assistant coach Luchi Gonzalez as the club’s new manager.
Gonzalez, 42, will take charge following the 2022 World Cup at the end of this year. The native of Hialeah, Fla., replaces Matias Almeyda, who was fired back in April following an 0-4-3 start to the season.
Since then, the Quakes have been managed on an interim basis by Alex Covelo, who will remain in charge for the remainder of the 2022 season. San Jose currently sits in 13th place in the 14-team Western Conference, with 24 points from 25 matches.
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“Luchi has all of the attributes that we sought in our next head coach,” Earthquakes general manager Chris Leitch said in a team release. “He has had success coaching in Major League Soccer with playoff appearances in his first two seasons and has a very strong track record in youth development. His strengths and desires align with our short and long-term goals as a club, and we look forward to him taking the reins after the World Cup.”
At the World Cup, the U.S. is scheduled to play Wales on Nov. 21, England four days later and Iran on Nov. 29 as they attempt to qualify for the knockout stage.
Gonzalez’s only previous managerial experience was with FC Dallas, a post he held for parts of three seasons starting with the 2019 campaign after leading the club’s academy for six years prior to that.
He led FCD to the playoffs twice, once in 2019 and again during the pandemic impacted campaign in 2020. Along the way, he forged a reputation for developing young players, a group that included Boavista defender Reggie Cannon, Venezia midfielder Tanner Tessmann, and Augsburg forward Ricardo Pepi.
But he was fired with six weeks to go in the 2021 regular season after compiling a record of just 6-11-9. His overall league and playoff record with Dallas was 28-31-26. He took on his current role with the USMNT in December of 2021.
“I’m really excited for this opportunity with one of the league’s founding clubs,” Gonzalez said. “I thoroughly enjoyed working with the club’s leadership team throughout the interview process and was impressed by their vision for the future, both on and off the field. Chris Leitch and his team have put together a solid foundation of players and I’m looking forward to working with them. As excited as I am for this opportunity, I’m going to remain focused on helping the U.S. National Team be as successful as possible through the FIFA World Cup and I will be ready to give everything for San Jose once that journey is over.”
As a player, Gonzalez played collegiately at Southern Methodist University and was the sixth overall selection of the Quakes in the 2002 MLS SuperDraft. But he made just eight appearances for San Jose that season. He went to play in Sweden for Bodens BK and Peruvian side Sporting Cristal before returning to MLS with the Colorado Rapids in 2005 where he spent two seasons. He finished out his career with second tier sides Miami FC and the Minnesota Thunder.
Source by www.espn.com