Martin Vasquez, run off as Chivas USA's head coach last fall after 4½ years over two stints with the club, has joined up with one of the Goats' rivals, taking charge of Real Salt Lake's academy in Casa Grande, Ariz.
Vasquez takes over for Greg Vanney, who departed to become an assistant coach for Robin Fraser, who succeeded Vasquez as Chivas' head coach.
“It is a great honor and a dream come true to be able to make a positive impact on the young men at the Real Salt Lake-Arizona academy, who we hope to develop into great players for Real Salt Lake, Grande Sports World and universities around the country,” Vasquez said in a statement. “I am looking forward to achieving great things both on and off the field with the academy players.”
Vasquez, who played in his native Mexico, for teams in several U.S. leagues and for the U.S. and Mexican national teams, was a Chivas USA assistant coach from 2005, the inaugural season, until taking a post in 2008 as Juergen Klinsmann's top assistant at Bayern Munich. He took charge of Chivas in December 2009 and last year guided the Goats to an 8-18-4 mark, worst in the Western Conference.
Chivas officials said he would return as head coach this year, but he was dismissed at season's end after refusing to consider reassigning one of his assistant coaches. Fraser was hired after 3½ years as Jason Kreis' top assistant coach at Real Salt Lake.
Vasquez (Alhambra/Alhambra HS and Cal State L.A.), 47, will serve as head coach and director of soccer at RSL's academy and director of soccer for Grande Sports World and Grande Sports Academy, the same jobs Vanney (UCLA) held.
Former Galaxy/Chivas midfielder Mike Muñoz (Los Alamitos/Los Alamitos HS) has served as interim director since Vanney joined the Goats in January -- he was the U.S. Soccer Development Academy's Coach of the Year for the U-15/16 Division -- and will assist Vasquez's transition.