MLS’s San Jose Earthquakes Raid USMNT Coaching Staff Ahead of World Cup

The San Jose Earthquakes currently sit in second-to-last place in Major League Soccer’s Western Conference. The team has played under interim coach Alex Covelo since the club fired Matias Almeyda back in April. Now San Jose is reportedly on the verge of bringing in a new head coach. The team’s target is USMNT assistant Luchi Gonzalez. Because he is part of the USMNT World Cup run right now, the team is working out a special deal to not disrupt the national team. 

Sources say USMNT assistant Luchi Gonzalez will be the next San Jose Earthquakes head coach

After an 0-3-3 start to the 2022 MLS season, the San Jose Earthquakes parted ways with head coach Matias Almeyda and his entire staff. Almeyda managed in San Jose for three-plus seasons and posted a 33-34-25 record. 

When San Jose dismissed Almeyda and his staff, the Earthquakes replaced him with its MLS NEXT Pro coach, Alex Covelo. Additionally, the club named MLS all-time leading scorer and USMNT legend Chris Wondolowski as an assistant coach.

After a months-long search, San Jose seems to have finally found its man, and it has also kept the USMNT thread going. Sources tell MLS.com that USMNT assistant coach Luchi Gonzalez will be the Earthquakes’ next manager. 

Gonzalez became a USMNT assistant in December 2021, thanks in large part to his time coaching at the Dallas FC academy. There he coached USMNT players like Kellyn Acosta, Reggie Cannon, Jesús Ferreira, Weston McKennie, Shaq Moore, Ricardo Pepi, and Chris Richards, per USSoccer.com

The good news for the USMNT is that the deal between Gonzalez and San Jose will allow the coach to take over his new MLS team in December 2022, after the conclusion of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. 

The 2022 MLS season ends October 9 (with the MLS Cup on November 5), so Gonzalez won’t manage his first San Jose Earthquakes match until the kickoff of the 2023 MLS season. 

Who is Luchi Gonzalez?

USMNT assistant Luchi Gonzalez who will be the new head coach of the San Jose Earthquakes in MLS.
Luchi Gonzalez | John Dorton/ISI Photos/Getty Images

New San Jose Earthquakes head coach Luchi Gonzalez is a Miami, Florida native with a decade of coaching experience. 

Before he was a coach, though, Gonzalez was a good soccer player. He played four years of collegiate soccer at SMU and won the Hermann Trophy (soccer’s Heisman) his senior season. 

The San Jose Earthquakes picked the forward in the 2022 MLS Superdraft. However, he made just eight appearances for the team. After that, Gonzalez bounced around the world of lower-level professional soccer but did make 22 more appearances in MLS with the Colorado Rapids. 

After his playing days ended, Gonzalez became academy director for FC Dallas before getting promoted to coach the senior side in 2018. He posted a 28-32-26 record in MLS and made two playoff appearances in three-plus seasons. 

Now Gonzalez’s job is to help Gregg Berhalter shepherd the USMNT to World Cup success in Qatar before bringing “Luchi ball” to San Jose. 

All stats courtesy of Transfermrkt

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