Youth coaches sue for discrimination

[CHIVAS USA] Dan Calichman and Ted Chronopoulos, two former members of the Chivas USA academy coaching staff, have sued the MLS club in Los Angeles Superior Court, saying they were fired “because they were neither Mexican nor Latino.”

(Click here for lawsuit.)

The former U.S. internationals and MLS players joined Chivas USA after working for LAFC (where Chronopoulos was Development Academy Southern California Conference Coach of the Year honors for 2008) and Cosmos Academy West. They were effectively suspended and then subsequently fired in March.

Calichman and Chronopoulos charge Mexican owner Jose Vergara began to “implement a discriminatory policy similar to the ethnocentric ‘Mexican-only’ policy that exists at Chivas de Guadalajara” when he took control of the team late last year.

The complaint charges that Vergara told employees who raised their hands when he asked who didn't speak Spanish that they would no longer work at Chivas USA.

"If you don't speak Spanish, you can go work for the Galaxy, unless you speak Chinese, which is not even a language,'" the complaint alleges Vergara said.

The complaint goes on to allege that Jose David, the team’s newly hired president and chief business officer, asked Chronopoulos to report which academy players and coaches were Mexican or Mexican-American and which were not.

Gregory D. Helmer
, the attorney for Calichman and Chronopoulos, says Chivas USA's hiring practices violate California and federal laws prohibiting discrimination, including treatment based on race, national origin or ethnicity, states the pair’s attorney. The suit also is based on harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress.

14 comments about "Youth coaches sue for discrimination".
  1. Peter Skouras, May 30, 2013 at 2:32 a.m.

    If this is true, Chivas has a problem...I doubt it is though! Currently, Chivas has 2 Anglos on their Academy coaching staff...they fired an Anglo and Greek-American and replaced them! Period. There's alot more going on here...mainly people pissed off! Discrimination Suit? It's all about Teddy because he's Greek!!! American Soccer people can't stand the Greeks especially with the success they've enjoyed in winning the EuroBasket, Euro in 2004 and now the Greek U-20's are going to make a run at the FIFA Youth World Cup in Turkey! Oh yes, "Discrimination against the Greeks!" Come on people...get fu...g serious!

  2. Peter Skouras, May 30, 2013 at 9:22 a.m.

    Youth Coaches suing on the basis of discrimination in Los Angeles? O dear!

    Teddy and Dan...utilize your degrees that the College system provided you both (if you finished) and go get a job! You'll make a better living!

  3. Chris Sapien , May 30, 2013 at 1:13 p.m.


  4. Makenzie Pedrotti, May 30, 2013 at 3:32 p.m.

    What are you even saying? This is all about one guy because he's Greek? Seriously? Why don't you utilize your college degree and read the case to know the facts before you start commenting. Some common sense would help as well. If you have been living under a rock the last 6 months, Chivas has made it very clear what direction they want to head in. They have cleaned house and replaced players, staff and coaches with people of Mexican descent. They can get away with it in Mexico but that doesn't fly under US employment laws. Seems pretty clear to most.. Some just always have an axe to grind.

  5. Luis Arreola, May 30, 2013 at 6:05 p.m.

    Mackenzie, point taken. Why dont we see the same uproar with the soccer system that has long been in place which certainly excludes minorities in general from playing at the highest levels in youth soccer?? Just because these current systems dont go out and say it like Chivas doesnt really make it better. Pay to play excludes most minorities. That has been obvious for too long. How about purposely excluding Non Academy players from USSF TC's or making sure they sign with an Academy first before including them ?? This only means you have to kiss the ring to get where you want. Just because you can find a way to "get away" with it under US laws doesnt make it better. Come on people lets not be hypocritical in our tolerance of discrimination. Thats not a shot at you Makenzie. I am speaking in general here. I see alot of people blog in outrage about Chivas USA but not nearly enough and certainly not with the same tone when speaking of what I think is a greater evil in you USA soccer that is nation wide.

  6. 0 M, May 30, 2013 at 6:20 p.m.

    More of a Spanish speaking requirement than a Latino requirement. They just fired Chelis so don't think it's a Mexican requirement.

  7. BJ Genovese, May 30, 2013 at 7:25 p.m.

    Luis, clearly you have some serious issues with US soccer. I suppose you are very upset that your child has not made it to the National team camp yet and it sounds like you are saying it is a discrimination issue. Do you really think TC'S are omitting kids because they are not with an academy? That would be a shame but what proof do you have of that? Pay to play has excluded all kinds of people, not just minorities. It sounds like you are associating all things negative about soccer and tying them back into the youth development arena for personal issues. I would be careful doing too much of that because you may actually be doing more harm than good with regards to your soccer player. And hopefully your player is not catching wind of your attitude or misguided attention to his or her own development level. Just a though. Now about the article... I think the fact that it will be in court... says that they probably have a case.

  8. Gordon Hayes, May 30, 2013 at 10:30 p.m.

    There are many issues in many places but none of it excuses the behavior of an organization firing and hiring people based on ethnicity. There should be no defense of this, no discussion, nothing but apologies. Their owner clearly stated they were going to do this and anything other than condemnation of Chivas is counterproductive.

  9. Luis Arreola, May 30, 2013 at 11:18 p.m.

    Pete, how did you come to this conclusion of yours on me and my son?? How does "it sound" like a discrimination issue towards my son?? I actually have never even hinted that my son was discroiminated against by anyone. It sounds like you are a little too defensive of what I said and are jumping to extreme conclusions. I am speaking in general and not about one player in particular and certainly not about my son. He is doing very very well as a matter of fact and I am more than happy with his present situation and the future looks extremely bright for him. From what I see and according to many people I now know through soccer throughout the country is that I state my opinion. ODP for a long time before Academies ommitted many low budget players that most certainly in its majority were and still are minorities. Now we have Academies. Most Academies are pay to play. The few that are free start at U16 with very very few free at earlier ages. Most Academies that are free warn/promote that only loyal players will be chosen. By loyal it means pay for a few years. Of course pay to play excludes all kinds of people but it is no secret which kind of people it excludes the most. It certainly is comfortable to many people that blog here but not to the lower budget soccer player parents that dont have the time to blog here. My son is taught to be strong and honest and to always be vocal of his opinion to do right. You want me to be careful??? Why?? I should be scared of somebody closing my son;s doors or opportunities ?? Being scared hasnt helped anyone in this country. Actually quite the contrary. If anyone holds my comments against my son then he should want nothing to do with them. No matter who it is. His skills, talent, character should determine his place on a team. Not what I think or what somebody like you or anyone thinks about me. Do you actually hear yourself?? You are warning me of being quite so my kid gets a shot. Sounds familiar.

  10. Luis Arreola, May 30, 2013 at 11:29 p.m.

    Pete, I want there to be no doubt that a player like mine competes against the very best regardless of their affiliation and $$. That is how a true competitor evaluates himself, by competing, not by following a system that does not have that design. I am sure there are many that feel exactly like me but are instead takiong your advice and keeping quite about it so their player doesnt suffer the wrath of system. Can you imagine where basketball would be in USA if it followed the same USA soccer system?? Do you think we would see so many minorities in the NBA?? If you do I have a few things I would like to sell you, brother. My kids only thoughts are improving and enjoying the game. He trusts his skills and potential and knows that greater things are ahead of him. Everything happens for a reason. There is nothing to fear. Everything will fall into place when it needs to and I hope I get to know exactly who you are before it does since you chose to get so personal. Is that your real name??

  11. Luis Arreola, May 31, 2013 at 12:05 a.m.

    I would be very careful if i was holding grudges against a player just because of what his dad states on blogs. I would be careful on purposely holding out on an opportunity for a deserving player only because I dont like the dad. That would be extremely petty for a person in such a position. I would be very very careful because you never know who that player can one day be.

  12. Luis Arreola, May 31, 2013 at 9:09 a.m.

    The reason they were fired was based on their lack of speaking Spanish even though the majority of players are Hispanic. That is a very important requirement in many USA jobs now a days. On this particular matter it seems justifiable.

  13. Chris Sapien , May 31, 2013 at 3:34 p.m.

    As usual, you can dry out everything Luis says and spread it on your lawn..........yawn, yawn,

  14. Luis Arreola, May 31, 2013 at 3:36 p.m.

    You mean fertilize it so it grows healthy? Lol

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