Two former coaches with Chivas USA filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court on Tuesday charging the team with discrimination, claiming they were fired earlier this year "because they were neither Mexican nor Latino."
Daniel Calichman and Theothoros Chronopoulos, both former members of the U.S. national soccer team, worked with Chivas USA's youth academy, where they coached players between the ages of 7 and 18.
According to the complaint, shortly after Mexican businessman Jorge Vergara and wife, Angelica Fuentes, assumed sole ownership of the Major League Soccer team last fall, Vergara told his staff that employees who did not speak Spanish would be fired. Shortly after that Jose David, the team's new president and chief business officer, asked Chronopoulos to compile lists of Academy players and coaches who were Mexican or Mexican American and those that weren't. Weeks later, the lawsuit claims, David asked them to collect more detailed ethnic and national origin data on Academy players and their parents.
Both coaches subsequently filed written complaints of discrimination and harassment to Cynthia Craig, the team's human resources manager who, the coaches say, did not follow through on a promise to investigate. Instead, David met with the coaches and, the lawsuit alleges, told them ownership was taking the team back to "its Mexican roots" and that neither coach would be part of that effort.