More than four months since firing long-time general manager John Doyle, the San Jose Earthquakes have finally hired his replacement. Jesse Fioranelli, who most recently worked with AS Roma in Italy, was named the Quakes new GM Thursday morning. He beat out other high-profile candidates Tab Ramos and Dennis te Kloese for the job.
Fioranelli was the only one of the five targets for the job whose name hadn’t been reported. In addition to Ramos, who coaches the U.S. U-20 national team, and te Kloese, director of the Mexico Football Federation youth national teams, the Earthquakes were also reported to be interviewing interim GM Chris Leitch and former Sunderland executive Lee Congerton.
"We are excited to welcome Jesse to the Quakes family," said Earthquakes President Dave Kaval in a statement. "He has a tremendous, well-rounded resume that immediately impressed us and we believe the team's technical side is in excellent hands moving forward. The search to find a general manager proved to be lengthy, but we're happy that the thorough process has led us to a candidate of Jesse's quality."
As part of the "Direzione Sportiva" at AS Roma over the last year and a half, Fioranelli helped oversee a comprehensive club management program that emphasized player scouting and match analysis for the first team and through to the youth system. Prior to his stint with Roma, he was the head of analysis for fellow Serie A and Rome-based club Lazio for three years between 2012 and 2015. At both clubs, Fioranelli helped oversee recruitment and partnership efforts in Europe and abroad.
"I am honored to be part of the Quakes family and to open this exciting chapter in my life," said Fioranelli in a club statement. "From the moment I met Dave and ownership, I felt a strong connection with the Quakes organization, its people and the exciting opportunities we will strive for in the future together. I also spoke with Chris (Leitch) and Dominic (Kinnear) and I am looking forward to working with both of them. We´re committed to bringing a brand of football from the first team through the youth sector that the community can be proud of."
Fioranelli’s resume is vast, and in addition to his most recent experience in Italy, he served as the head of analysis for Samsunspor of the Turkish first division. His focus on match analysis at all stops in his soccer career suggest a similar role with the Earthquakes — “Moneyball” has arrived in San Jose. Prior to joining Samsunspor, Fioranelli worked as a player agent for six years, leading a group that engineered player transfers throughout Europe, North America and Latin America.
Fioranelli will make his first appearance with the Quakes at a press conference to be held Tuesday, January 10, at 11:00 a.m. at Avaya Stadium. In addition to members of the press, Earthquakes season tickets holders are invited to attend the event to welcome Fioranelli to San Jose.
Leitch, who has served as the interim general manager since Doyle’s dismissal on August 29, will return to his post as technical director. It is expected that Leitch will be instrumental in helping Fioranelli adjust to the intricacies of the many MLS rules and regulations when it comes to player acquisition and roster management.