Former Chivas USA Coaches Claim Discrimination For Not Being Latino
Two former coaches for the Chivas USA Youth Academy soccer program have filed a lawsuit against a Major League Soccer club, alleging they were fired for not being Latino.
Daniel Calichman and Theothoros Chronopoulos have sued Club Deportivo Chivas USA in Los Angeles Superior Court. Both are former MLS players who were coaching the parent club's successful Southern California youth academy.
Chivas USA is the sister club of Chivas de Guadalajara, the historic Mexican club. Chivas USA was formed in Los Angeles in 2004 to compete in the MLS.
Club owner Jorge Vergara Madrigal took full control of Chivas USA in 2012.
The lawsuit contents Vergara began to implement the same "Mexican-only" policy of the original club, which included "replacing players and staff who had no Mexican or Latino heritage."
On November 13, 2012, the complaint states, Mr. Vergara called all Chivas USA employees to a meeting and announced that non-Spanish speaking employees would be fired. It quotes Mr. Vergara as saying, “If you don’t speak Spanish, you can go work for the Galaxy, unless you speak Chinese, which is not even a language.”
MLS watchers on social media didn't seem surprised by the lawsuit.
Who else saw the "discrimination" thing coming? I know I did. #MLS #ChivasUSA— Austin Moore (@CominWitMoore) May 29, 2013
I'm shocked - said nobody ever “@soccerbyives: Chivas USA sued by former youth coaches for discrimination: bit.ly/11bSGT4”— Ed Zelaski (@edzelaski) May 29, 2013
The Inevitable First #Discrimination Lawsuit Against #ChivasUSA Has Been Filed -sports.yahoo.com/news/inevitabl… #MLS #soccer #football #futbol #YCN— Zac Wassink (@ZacWassink) May 29, 2013
The Los Angeles Times describes the California club's off-season moves:
Chivas de Guadalajara is the only club in the Mexican league that has never fielded a non-Mexican player and Vergara has long sought a way to recruit and develop Mexican American players from Southern California for that team.<br><br>That has led to several changes with his MLS club in the past seven months, including the hiring of former Mexican league manager Jose Luis Sanchez Sola and a complete overhaul of the team's roster. In 2012, just one Chivas USA player had Mexican roots. This year no fewer than 14 were either born in Mexico or have Mexican-born parents, making them eligible to player for Chivas de Guadalajara as well as Chivas USA.