Earthquakes hire Roma's Jesse Fioranelli as new general manager

The San Jose Earthquakes have named Jesse Fioranelli, a member of the sporting direction unit at Italian side AS Roma, as their new general manager, the club announced today.

Fioranelli had previously worked for several top-flight clubs in Europe. At Roma, his duties included scouting, match analysis, player development, and recruiting.

In addition to his 18-month stint with the Giallorossi, he also spent three years at Roma rivals Lazio, where he worked as the head of analysis and scouting. Fioranelli also spent time at Turkish club Samsunspor, and worked as a player agent for six years.

"We are excited to welcome Jesse to the Quakes family," said Earthquakes president Dave Kaval. "He has a tremendous, well-rounded resume that immediately impressed us and we believe the team's technical side is in excellent hands moving forward.

"The search to find a general manager proved to be lengthy, but we're happy that the thorough process has led us to a candidate of Jesse's quality."

The Quakes engaged Nolan Partners to aid in the search. According to a club spokesman, San Jose received 272 applications from candidates representing 130 different clubs. From there, 29 candidates were interviewed, which was eventually culled to a list of six finalists.

The other finalists included current director of Mexico's youth national teams Dennis te Kloese, current U.S. U20 manager and youth technical director Tab Ramos, former Sunderland sporting director Lee Congerton, and current San Jose technical director Chris Leitch.

Fioranelli, in conjunction with Leitch and manager Dominic Kinnear, will attempt to arrest a slide that has seen the Quakes fail to reach the playoffs in each of the past four years. He replaces John Doyle, who was fired from the club back in August.

"I am honored to be part of the Quakes family and to open this exciting chapter in my life," said Fioranelli. "From the moment I met Dave and ownership, I felt a strong connection with the Quakes organization, its people and the exciting opportunities we will strive for in the future together.

"I also spoke with Chris [Leitch] and Dominic [Kinnear] and I am looking forward to working with both of them. We're committed to bringing a brand of football from the first team through the youth sector that the community can be proud of."

While Fioranelli's resume is impressive, he lacks any familiarity with MLS, a league constrained by a salary cap and convoluted roster rules. Fioranelli will likely lean heavily on Leitch, who will retain his technical director role, as well as Kinnear to get him up to speed.

The hope is Fioranelli's extensive list of contacts will allow San Jose to have more success in recruiting designated players from overseas -- an area in which the Quakes have done poorly since the team's rebirth in 2008.