San Jose Earthquakes Name Jesse Fioranelli General Manager

The San Jose Earthquakes have a new General Manager. The club named Jesse Fioranelli its new GM Thursday, following a four-month search for John Doyle’s replacement. Doyle was fired at the end of last August.  Fioranelli joins the ‘Quakes from AS Roma, where he was a part of the “Sporting Direction” unit.

Fioranelli has extensive experience in the European soccer scene. He served as head of analysis for Turkish side Samsunspor in 2011-12, providing pre and post-game video analysis and assisting with player scouting. He joined Lazio in July 2012 where he served in the same role until a move to Roma’s front office in 2015. Before his time in the front office, Fioranelli worked as an agent for six years representing players and facilitating transfers as part of a soccer management firm.

Earthquakes President Dave Kaval said in an email to season ticket holders Fioranelli’s experience on both sides of the table (agent and front office) was the main reason he was chosen out of 272 applicants. Kaval focused on Fioranelli’s time at Roma, praising his “expertise in the field of analytics,” and his role in the development of the “Roma Way” philosophy. In the email, Kaval also said the ‘Quakes spent “a great deal of time overseas” vetting candidates in person. He confirmed there were American candidates in the running for the job (it was widely reported Tab Ramos was one such candidate), but the club ultimately decided to go with Fioranelli.

The new GM certainly has a tough task ahead of him. San Jose finished second-to-last in the Western Conference in 2016, missing the playoffs by eight points. Foreign coaches and GMs always face the added difficulty of having to navigate the quirks of MLS’ roster rules, rules that have tripped up many throughout the league’s history. Fioranelli will have to learn the ropes quickly with just over two months to get the roster ready for the start of the 2017 season.

San Jose will introduce Fioranelli Tuesday at an 11 a.m. news conference.