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Chivas dumps coach after D.C. United loss
by Paul Kennedy, October 1st, 2007 7AM

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TAGS:  mexico, mls

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Less than 48 hours after it lost to D.C. United, 2-1, in the Copa Sudamericana, Mexico's Guadalajara fired Coach Jose Manuel de la Torre and replaced him with Efrain Flores, who worked in Chivas' development program.

Chivas was fourth in its group in Mexico's Torneo Apertura with only three wins in nine games. It had scored only seven goals, tied with Guadalajara neighbor Atlas for the fewest in the league.

"Chivas are 101 years old," Chivas general director Juan Frangie. "We have a very solid structure in place, and this will continue. We're sad to see the coach go, but this will not stop the Chivas. We'll be champions."

Chivas, which last year's Torneo Apertura for its Mexican record 11th league title, won its first game under Flores with a 3-1 win over Veracruz.

"I supported the move," Chivas owner Jorge Vergara, who is also co-owner of Chivas USA, told the Guadalajara daily Mural. "It's clear that we lost leadership within the team. We became a defensive squad, and we wanted to attack. We played not to lose, when we wanted to play for the win."

De la Torre led Chivas to the Apertura championship in December, beating Toluca in the finals to a Mexican record 11th league championship.

Chivas, Mexico's most popular team, also suffered from a drop in attendance.

"We had 10,000 fewer fans in each of the past games," added Frangie. "We can't tolerate that."

Chivas hosts D.C. United Sunday at the Jalisco Stadium in the second leg of their Copa Sudamericana series. The winner will face Arsenal of Argentina in the quarterfinals of the Copa Sudamericana, which has included teams from Central and North America since 2005.

De la Torre was the fifth coach in Mexico's First Division to be replaced -- and the third in a week.

Argentine Ruben Omar Romano quit as coach of Atlas, 10 days ago, and Miguel Herrera left Monterrey by mutual consent last Wednesday.

Other casualties: Dario Franco at UAG and Victor Manuel Vucetich at Chiapas.



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