The San Jose Earthquakes have hired former Chivas Guadalajara boss Matias Almeyda as their new head coach.
The club made the surprise announcement on Monday, securing the services of the highly-sought-after Argentinian coach less than a month after parting ways with former head coach Mikael Stahre.
Interim head coach Steve Ralston will continue to lead the last-place Earthquakes through the remainder of the 2018 season before Almeyda takes over for 2019.
“What we saw in Matias was a coach that brought success by creating a culture we strive to emulate,” said Earthquakes general manager Jesse Fioranelli. “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.
Almeyda, 44, led Chivas Guadalajara to the CONCACAF Champions League title in April, eliminating the Seattle Sounders and New York Red Bulls before beating Toronto FC in penalty kicks in the final. Almeyda also led Chivas to the 2017 Clausura Liga MX title, two Copa MXs and the Supercopa MX.
Almeyda left Chivas in May, choosing to move on after the Mexican club failed to make the moves he felt were necessary to keep the Guadalajara club success.
NEWS: Earthquakes Hire Matias Almeyda as Head Coach: https://t.co/6sEZ49LgDU#BienvenidoMatias ??? pic.twitter.com/uWNCclG7PS
— San Jose Earthquakes (@SJEarthquakes) October 8, 2018
In the months since his departure from Chivas, Almeyda has been linked with multiple jobs, including the Mexican national team post.
He takes over a San Jose squad mired in a terrible season. The Earthquakes currently have the worst record in MLS, with just four wins and 20 total points after narrowly qualifying for the playoffs with a losing record in 2017.
Almeyda is the Earthquakes’ fifth different head coach under Fioranelli, counting interim stints for Chris Leitch and Ralston.