The Chelis Experiment ends for Lights FC

After stating he wanted to leave following Sunday’s loss, technical director El Chelis has left the club.

What happens in Vegas sometimes leaves Vegas. Following Las Vegas Lights FC’s loss to Portland Timbers 2 on Sunday, technical director Jose Luis Sanchez Sola, better known as El Chelis, told the Review Journal he was frustrated and wanted to leave the club. Fast forward two days and that is exactly what has happened. The club announced today that Chelis has left his post as technical director in a noticeably brief and vague statement.

Now, the tumultuous and short-lived Chelis era is over. His arrival was met with much fanfare as the club’s first-ever manager, mostly of shock and excitement for his potential antics. But, he would never be the head coach, being “promoted” to technical director, rumored to be a result of him lacking the necessary coaching certificates the USL requires of their head coaches. His son, Isidro, would move from assistant coach to head coach in a concurrent move.

Once the season started,¬†things didn’t get much smoother for Chelis. He was suspended twice for making physical contact with someone he shouldn’t. First, it was a referee during the San Antonio match at home, then it was a fan at Phoenix. The supporters seemed to rally around him the first time, but with the club struggling during the second incident, they seemed less supportive. For the product on the field, he often promised things would get better or that something would change. Unfortunately, the only thing that changed was the roster he originally put together.

Chelis was a very “Vegas” signing, proven by his smoking a cigarette in the stands after being sent off, but it seems he was not the right guy to build a consistent, winning team. Arriving at the club with a history of abrupt departures from previous coaching stops, he leaves Lights FC with six matches remaining in their inaugural season. Chelis will likely return to the television analyst side of the sport and he thanked the club, fans, and city for the past ten months in a quick Twitter video today.

Now, the club will finish out the season with his son still running the show. It is not known at this time if Isidro will remain the head coach next season.

Photo courtesy of Lights FC/L.E. Baskow


Carson A Merk

Reporting live from Sin City, I have covered both RGVFC and Las Vegas Lights FC since their inceptions. I also write profiles to highlight players from the NCAA to USL to NWSL and everywhere in between.