MLS experience key to Earthquakes' CSO hunt
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TransferRoom Blog

On the Move
MLS experience key to Earthquakes' CSO hunt
by Jonathan Rest

The San Jose Earthquakes have said they hope to announce a new Chief Soccer Officer by September, and have stressed the importance of MLS experience as they continue their search.

“The data all points to the most successful chief soccer officer roles around the league, have been those who have a background in MLS and experience with the player pool. Ten of the last 11 MLS Cup championships were led by people with prior experience in the league. That’s a direction for success in the league and that makes sense. With complications of roster build, the way players are bought and sold, you have to have familiarity with those mechanisms to compete at the highest level.”
Jared Shawlee
Chief Operating Officer, San Jose Earthquakes

The Earthquakes are seeking a successor to Jesse Fioranelli (pictured), who was dismissed as CSO at the end of June, following four-and-a-half-years in the role.

 

The Italian executive had no previous MLS experience when he took the job and after crunching the data, the Earthquakes have come to the realisation that his successor needs to know the inner workings of the league if the club is to compete for silverware.

 

Jared Shawlee told US media: “We have a really specific profile: Someone with deep experience of Major League Soccer. They don’t necessarily need to be employed by a club right now, but they do need to have a background of success and high-level of knowledge within the league.”

 

Almost all of MLS' previous trophy-winners have been led by domestic CSOs and head coaches, with one notable exception being Ernst Tanner, who recently extended his Sporting Director contract with Philadelphia Union, winners of the 2020 Supporters' Shield.

 

Shawlee continued: “The data all points to the most successful chief soccer officer roles around the league, have been those who have a background in MLS and experience with the player pool. Ten of the last 11 MLS Cup championships were led by people with prior experience in the league. That’s a direction for success in the league and that makes sense. With complications of roster build, the way players are bought and sold, you have to have familiarity with those mechanisms to compete at the highest level.”

 

The club is looking to shortlist up to five candidates next month, with the hope of announcing a new CEO in September in order to fully prepare for the winter transfer window.

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