CARSON, Calif. -- Former Bayern Munich assistant Martin Vasquez has been hired as Chivas USA's head coach, the team announced Wednesday.
Vasquez replaces Preki Radosavljevic, who resigned Nov. 12. The job is Vasquez's first as a professional head coach.
"This is a very exciting time for me," Vasquez said. "I have special feelings, deep feelings, for this organization and this team. I feel confident and ready to do the job."
Shawn Hunter, Chivas USA's president and CEO, said that making the decision to hire Vasquez was easy.
"At the end of the day, it was a no-brainer," said Hunter, who cited Vasquez's "experience internationally, his knowledge of our club and his passion for the club."
Vasquez served as an assistant with Chivas USA from 2005-08 before joining Bayern Munich as head coach Juergen Klinsmann's top assistant in July 2008.
"Having that experience was like taking a Ph.D," Vasquez said of his time with Klinsmann. "He helped me learn how to be a good coach, a good leader. Among the things I learned was the intensity of the competition and the professionalism.
"I will try to bring the same approach and the same philosophy but that's because I believe in that approach, in being a team on and off the field. That approach brings success."
Vasquez said he plans no major roster changes.
"I know maybe 60, 70 percent of the players," Vasquez said. "I believe there's a good base of players. We have to build on that. To talk about changes right now is premature. I have to do my homework."
Vasquez, who played 12 years in Mexico and the United States, began his professional coaching career in 2001 with the Women's United Soccer Association's San Diego Spirit. In 2004, Vasquez joined the Los Angeles Galaxy as an assistant.
During Vasquez's previous tenure with Chivas USA, the team finished first in Major League Soccer's Western Conference in 2007 and made the playoffs twice after beginning its first season in 2005 with MLS's worst record.
As a player, Vasquez spent nine seasons in Mexico's first division before signing with MLS in 1996. The midfielder played for the Tampa Bay Mutiny for two years, then went to the San Jose Clash in 1998.
Vasquez played in the 1996 MLS All-Star Game and made seven appearances for the U.S. national team in 1996 and 1997.
Born in Mexico, Vasquez moved to the United States at age 12. He played at Alhambra High School in suburban Los Angeles and Cal State Los Angeles.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press