San Jose Earthquakes

Luchi Gonzalez lays out aims as new San Jose Earthquakes head coach

Chris Smith
Gonzalez wants to turn the Quakes into Playoffs regulars.
Gonzalez wants to turn the Quakes into Playoffs regulars. / Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Luchi Gonzalez says his 'ultimate goal' as the new San Jose Earthquakes head coach is to make the MLS Cup Playoffs next year.

Gonzalez was announced as the new man in charge earlier this week and will join the club ahead of the 2023 season once he's fulfilled his duties as Gregg Berhalter's assistant with the United States Men's National Team at the World Cup.

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Until then, Alex Covelo will remain in interim charge as he has done since the departure of Matias Almeyda in April.

The Quakes currently sit 13th in the Western Conference with a seven-point gap separating them from the Playoffs, though they have played a game less than many of their rivals. In the short term, it'll be Covelo's job to try and drag San Jose up the table but, when he arrives, Gonzalez has his sights set on one objective.

“Our ultimate goal next year is to make the playoffs – we have to make the playoffs,” Gonzalez said. “Half the teams in MLS make the playoffs. That’s a realistic objective.”

Prior to his time with the USMNT, Gonzalez enjoyed a three-year spell as head coach of FC Dallas - leading them to back-to-back MLS Cup Playoffs appearances in 2019 and 2020 - having spent six years as the club's academy director between 2012 and 2018.

Gonzalez certainly knows what it takes to make the post-season and hopes to use all his experiences to restore success to the Quakes, who are without a trophy of any sort since the 2012 Supporters' Shield.

“I lived experiences in Dallas and now understand the highest level of standards at US Soccer,” Gonzalez said. “Those are standards I’m carrying with me as I grow. For me to be part of a project to grow and reach its potential, then there has to be a minimum standard of investment. Not just a minimum, but an ambition. I felt full commitment of that from leadership and ownership.”

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