FRISCO, Texas — While instructing his team on the sideline, FC Dallas head coach Luchi Gonzalez likes adding a little personality to his clothing selection. It’s shown in some matches, when Gonzalez has elected to go with a button-down shirt, fitted pants and a selection of boots.
Gonzalez’s outfit for Wednesday’s scoreless draw at the Seattle Sounders made waves on social media. He donned a stylish cardigan, and fans were not the only ones who noticed the look.
“Luchi styles good,” forward Dominique Badji said. “He’s got his tapered pants, he’s got some style. Every game he kind of surprises me. He’s definitely up there as one of the most stylish coaches in the league, I’d say.”
Many coaches in soccer elect to go with one of three options: a suit and tie, training gear or a polo. Former Atlanta United coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino won Major League Soccer’s 2017 fan vote for best dressed coach with predominantly team gear.
However, some do implement a bit of style in their wardrobes. Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola has shown off his fashion sense, alternating from a suit to a light sweater to a jacket and scarf pairing, breaking away from the norm presented by other managers.
Gonzalez wears training gear for some matches, but it was evident the coach would have a different take on style in his introductory press conference. He went with a floral button-down with a shirt over it and a tan sport coat, accompanied by tapered pants and tan Chelsea boots.
May 11, 2019; Frisco, TX, USA; FC Dallas head coach Luchi Gonzalez on the sidelines during the match against the New York Red Bulls at Toyota Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
With the weather consistently reaching 90 degrees in Texas, Gonzalez elects for a lighter approach to stay cool in the grueling heat. A change in climate on the trip to Seattle allowed Gonzalez to show off what he has in the closet.
“Honestly, that’s conservative for me,” Gonzalez said. “The weather was a little cooler and I wore a cardigan. Not a big deal. I have sweaters, I have cardigans, I have pattern stuff. I like patterns, but that’s too much distraction as a coach. I can do that with my wife and kids or with my tight social circle and wear things that I enjoy to wear, when I want to represent myself, but I think in a game as one of the leaders in the club, I want as little distraction as possible and make sure the focus is on the right things. I can get away with fits and some things, but I’m not going to wear things that I think are going to distract in a negative way. But again, it’s finding the balance.”
As the cardigan generated buzz on Instagram and Twitter, Gonzalez’s players did not see anything out of the ordinary. In their eyes, the coach’s style is just a part of who he is as a person.
“To be honest, I didn’t think it was that big of a deal,” midfielder Jacori Hayes said. “I thought he was looking nice, looking sharp, but then I saw it all over Instagram and I didn’t realize it was such a big deal. People were comparing it to Pep [Guardiola] and everything like that. He dresses well and dresses for the occasion. He looked sharp. A little comfortable, a little drip, but most importantly he was comfortable.”
For Gonzalez, the clothes aren’t significant. He’s focused on winning matches and leading FC Dallas into the playoffs in his first year as head coach. But he is revealing his personality through his clothing.
“I need to be fluid in my tastes but I need some structure too,” Gonzalez said. “If I want to be more on the fluid side, I’ve got to know my audience. I think I’ve been too conservative sometimes. Little by little, taking steps.
“I like different styles and I’m gonna express it. I’ve got to be me.”