Quakes Introduce New General Manager Jesse Fioranelli
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Jesse Fioranelli was formally introduced to assembled fans and media Tuesday during a cold and stormy press conference at Avaya Stadium, where the 37-year-old former member of AS Roma’s sporting direction unit explained the vision that separated him from nearly 300 candidates the club was considering.
“We are excited to welcome Jesse to the Quakes family,” said Earthquakes President Dave Kaval. “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.”
He was ultimately selected over Lee Congerton, a former Sunderland sporting director, and, according to ESPN, U.S. under-20 coach Tab Ramos and Dennis te Kloese, the Mexico Football Federation director of youth national teams.
Fioranelli left behind his Serie A family, as he put it, for the unique but exciting opportunity to bring his talents to Major League Soccer, an outlet he said has consistently been receiving more and more attention by European football fans. Some might call moving from one of the world’s most famous football clubs in one of the world’s most famous football leagues to MLS regression, Fioranelli doesn’t see it that way.
“I left a club that was second in the league (Serie A), if I weren’t completely convinced that this was the right move for me and my family, I wouldn’t have taken it,” he said Tuesday. “There was more than enough reason for me to join the Quakes.”
Fioranelli said, no matter the match, his largest task is to ensure that San Jose have an identity and send a message on the pitch. During his Roma tenure, Fioranelli worked intimately to develop and recruit players for the club’s academy programs, and while the Quakes have an academy program of their own, the club has struggled in the development of homegrown talent. He understands the sort of draw grooming local talent does for the sport, and more importantly, the team.
“Which fans would not want to see players coming from the Bay Area to play in this beautiful stadium? If that takes place, we’re going to have a full stadium.”
Team president Dave Kaval said Fioranelli ultimately stood out from the group of candidates because of his combined expertise after working as both a coach and player-agent, these made him a “perfect fit for where the league is going.”
While Fioranelli was unwilling to guarantee San Jose would snap its streak of missing the playoffs for the fourth consecutive campaign last season, his conclusion should heed the attention of Quakes fans.
“I will tell you this much, in 2017 we will send a message.”