SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San Jose Earthquakes announced Monday that the club hired Matias Almeyda as head coach.
The former Argentina international midfielder recently led Mexican side Chivas de Guadalajara to the 2018 concacaf Champions League title.
Almeyda, who is the club’s fourth head coach in the past 16 months, succeeds Mikael Stahre, who was fired Sept. 17.
Interim head coach Steve Ralston will remain in his role for the final two matches of the regular season before Almeyda takes over in 2019.
Almeyda certainly will have his work cut out for himself trying to rebuild the Earthquakes to reclaim some old glory because San Jose is last among all 23 MLS clubs with an abysmal 4-20-8 mark and 20 points.
“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. “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.”
Almeyda, 44, joins San Jose with an extensive background as a player and coach. He most recently served as head coach of Chivas from September 2015 to this past June where he led the club to five trophies in three seasons. During his tenure, Almeyda managed numerous Mexican national team players, including Carlos Salcedo, Omar Bravo, Alan Pulido, Oswaldo Alanis, Rodolfo Pizarro, Miguel Angel Ponce and Isaac Brizuela.
Almeyda’s side won the 2018 concacaf Champions League with consecutive wins over MLS clubs Seattle Sounders FC (3-1 aggretate), Red Bulls (1-0 aggregate) and Toronto FC (3-3 aggreate; 4-2 PKs). It marked the club’s first concacaf Champions League title since 1962, the first year of the competition’s existence, and secured Chivas’ first-ever qualification for the FIFA Club World Cup.
In addition to their international success, Chivas also performed well domestically under Almeyda. Chivas won the nation’s biannual tournament, Copa MX, in 2015 (Apertura) and 2017 (Clausura), as well as the 2016 Supercopa MX. The club also won the Clausura 2017 Liga MX championship, their first league title in more than 20 years. He was subsequently named Liga MX’s Best Coach after winning the league double.
Prior to joining Chivas in 2015, Almeyda was head coach for multiple clubs in his native Argentina.