Top Stories

SBI Old School Q&A (Some of Your Questions Answered)


It’s time to answer some SBI reader questions in the latest installment of Your Questions Answered.

In case you missed it, we featured an SBI Old School Q&A post recently, which allowed readers to submit their questions onto the site for me to answer. Here is the first batch of answers to those questions.

Among the topics covered this time around are Jurgen Klinsmann’s standing as U.S. national team manager, the state of Chivas USA, the Freddy Adu situation in Philadelphia, and Mike Petke’s tenure as Red Bulls head coach.

In case you’re trying to figure out why we call it an “Old School” Q&A, it’s because the normal format these days is to have SBI Live Q&As using CoverItLive. The “Old School” format refers to it being the way we used to do Q&As in the early years of SBI, which was by having readers submit questions on the site and me answering them in future posts.

We stopped using the old school approach, but I’d say it should become a more regular feature again going forward, along with some SBI Live Q&As mixed in.

Now, onto some answers. Here they are (Some of) Your Questions Answered:

PRIZBY– Will TFC be able to score 30 goals this year?

SBI– They should score 30, but not sure many more than that. I think it will be a rough rebuilding year in Toronto, though to be fair, TFC is not done building its team. As the squad stands now though, it could be a rough first season for Ryan Nelsen.


STRINGER BELL– Any idea what’s going on with Joe Gyau? I was hoping that his USMNT call-up last year was a precursor to a big 2013, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. The U.S. could sure use a winger with speed.

SBI– What’s going on is he’s 20 years old and still developing as a player. He has exciting qualities to his game, but is still developing. He’s still some time away before he’ll be a USMNT contributor. He still has to get regular playing time on the club level. He’s someone to keep an eye on for 2018 more than he is someone to hope for in 2014.


KEVIN– Ives…What does MLS think about the new Chivas USA player policy of Hispanic only and the jettisoning of American players? Does anyone else think this racist to some degree? And illegal?

SBI– If MLS had a problem with it, Chivas USA would already know about it, but the reality is there is nothing wrong with what Chivas USA is doing. The team is one of 19 teams in a single-entity league, so in business terms you can think of it as an office in a company and this particular office is focused on a particular approach to their business, in this case a style of play.

If MLS as a whole were trying to adopt this approach then there would certainly be more of an argument for illegality, but ultimately the players who have been sent away from Chivas USA are finding jobs elsewhere in the same league.

The best analogy I can think of is a Mexican restaurant in a Mexican neighborhood. You wouldn’t really begrudge the owner for wanting to have employees who have Mexican backgrounds and are able to speak spanish and understand the culture. And the fact they have kept Dan Kennedy and made him captain doesn’t hurt their argument for not being racist.

People also need to realize that several of these players heading to Chivas USA are Latino American players, players born and raised in the USA of Latino descent. The argument can be made that this segment of the player population has been underrepresented in MLS for years, so if there are now more opportunities for that segment of the player population I don’t really see the problem.

In the end, Chivas USA has a business model, and they aren’t doing anything illegal in putting that model into action. You can certainly argue whether it is a smart approach, but I just don’t think anyone can make a strong argument that it is an illegal or racist one.


DJS– How likely do you think are the chances JK calls Beasley in for the March qualys? Will both Shea and Beasley get calls, or do you think they’re in direct competition for one left winger spot?

SBI– He’s still a long shot but given the lack of wing options, he just might get the nod. I think if Brek Shea makes his way back then Klinsmann probably calls just one of them, but if both are playing regularly over the next month then I could see Klinsmann giving both a call.


DREW–  If you were calling the shots in Philly what would you do about the Freddy Adu situation? Also, thoughts on Demerit being called back with the USMNT? Still think he was our best CB until Klinsmann took over.

SBI– If I were Philly I would have given him another season playing with a revamped squad in 2013. Obviously the Union decided early on that wasn’t an option, so given the current state of affairs if I were the Union I would come up with a reasonable buyout offer and push Adu to take it. The Union don’t have the money to pay the rest of Adu’s contract, but they also need to move on from that situation because if they don’t resolve it soon they will have $600,000 of Adu’s salary weighing their roster down in 2013.


CHRIS– Who is needed more to there respective group: Donovan to the USMNT or Daryl on the Walking Dead? I am devastated by both.

SBI– Daryl on The Walking Dead. Donovan would make the USMNT better, but I think they can still win without him. Without Daryl and his crossbow, the group in the Walking Dead would already be toast (as we saw last episode).


SCUBA STEVE– What do you see in your crystal ball for the Le Toux/Casey partnership?

SBI– I’m more interested to see what LeToux-McINerney will do. Not sure how much Casey has left, but playing with a young team, and guys like LeToux, McInerney and Farfan just might help revive his career. I see McInerney being the guy who breaks out this season, and could see him finishing with more goals than either LeToux or Casey.


STEPHEN– Thoughts on the Cosmos acquisitions so far? Seems like they’re building a fringe-MLS-quality side… does that translate into NASL powerhouse?

SBI– They’ve done a good job of building a team for NASL play. I think they should be Minnesota’s biggest competition for the title, but still think Minnesota is the favorite. Manny Lagos is a more established coach than Gio Savarese so they get the edge.


RS– Any idea why the coaching staff left off the Mex-based players for the Honduras game? They were match fit and some of their matches in Mexico have a similar climate to San Pedro Sula. Certainly Gomez was a head scratcher, but Torres could have been useful in the midfield or as a 2nd half sub.

SBI– It was a bit odd not to see Herculez Gomez get the nod, or even playing time, in Honduras. The only thing I can think of was that he was either injured or his energy levels were low following Santos Laguna’s game that Sunday. As for the other players, I’m not sure Edgar Castillo or Jose Torres make a difference against Honduras on that day.


ANATOLY_M– I shared the desire for Klinsmann to replace BB, for all those reason rehashed so many times. While I don’t think that letting BB go was a mistake, I have no idea what Klinsmann is doing. There is no perceived movement in any direction. If you were a God, who would you get as an ideal coach for USMNT (after 2014, now, whenever)? Not the most famous, but the best match.

SBI– I said it before Klinsmann and I’ll say it again, I still think Guus Hiddink would have been a great choice. I know he failed to qualify Russia for 2010, and Turkey for Euro 2012, but I still think he would be a good fit. From an American standpoint, I honestly think having Bruce Arena take another run at the job wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. His second World Cup cycle didn’t end all that well but I think with the current group he could be a good fit to get the most out of this group.


BFBS– John Anthony Brooks: (i) do you know where he stands on his national team preference? (ii) assuming he is still willing to represent the United States, could/should he called up for this qualifying cycle? Thank you very much

SBI– I haven’t heard anything definitive other than reports that he was called up for a recent German U-20 camp so he’s obviously on Germany’s radar. He’s a very promising young centerback, doing well for Hertha Berlin, but it’s still his first year as a pro and talk of him being a factor for the full USMNT is a reach in my opinion. He’s more a prospect for 2018 than 2014 in my book.


LAKE– Will the Gold Cup squad be our full A-team or not?

SBI– With three HEX qualifiers in June, I’d expect the Gold Cup team to be mostly a B team.


OLD SCHOOL– Do you see Omar Gonzalez moving abroad before the 2014 World Cup?

SBI– He’s about to enter the final year of his contract, and when I spoke to him in October he sounded determined to leave MLS and test himself abroad after next season. That’s really the best move for him. No point in him staying in MLS. He needs to challenge himself in a bigger league.


STEVE– How do you see the LA Galaxy’s season starting off (Donovan nowhere to be found/Zardes injury/Villarreal away with YNT duty/Lampard will he-won’t he)?

SBI– Their offense could certainly struggle, but with their defense, and Robbie Keane, they’ll still be solid until Landon Donovan and Gyasi Zardes return. I’d still call them a Top Four team for 2013.


TONY IN QUAKELAND– Can you shed some light on the “awaiting moderation” mechanism? It seems completely random. Is it aglich, or is there something we are doing that unwittingly triggers it? It is very frustrting and there have been lots of comments.

SBI– Basically that function is meant to filter out profanity and also to halt first-time commenters so that we have the ability to read their comments before granting them full commenting privileges. We’ve had some issues with it because it does seem as though there are times comments get flagged that we can’t really find any problem with. It’s still a work in progress and all we can do is try to approve comments as often as possible, but obviously we don’t have the manpower to constantly approve comments being held.


JOSH– So this question has been circled around already, but I have my own version of it… How married to Klinnsman is USSF? Clearly they have made a huge investment in him, both financially and philosophically, but at what point would they pull the plug? I don’t mean to sound like chicken little, and I wouldn’t call our current state a crisis, but we are now in games that count, and we seem weaker than at any point in the last 10 years. Not necessarily from a results standpoint, because we clearly have a record of some impressive friendly wins, but Scotland aside, does anybody that has watched us play feel like we are better or even as good as we were a few years ago?

So, do we ride the JK ship all the way to not qualifying for WC2014 if it comes to that, or do we pull out at a certain point of danger?

SBI– Klinsmann isn’t going anywhere until after the World Cup UNLESS the USMNT is eliminated from qualifying. U.S. Soccer is paying him a ton to coach the team and considering they had to pay Bob Bradley a big payout when they fired him, they just don’t have the financial ability to dump Klinsmann even if they wanted to any time soon.

That being said, I think any “Dump Klinsmann” talk is way premature. It’s still too early for that. He’s experimenting, looking for the right combination, and as uncomfortable as it is for USMNT fans that he’s still working out the kinks, the reality is he took over a team in transition so it was never going to be an easy job.


BILL– Question about transfer fees. Does the player receive any of the transfer fee or does the selling club keep it all?

SBI– Generally players receive 10 percent, but I believe MLS contracts include a waiving of that fee when players are sold, so most MLS players who are sold do not receive that 10 percent bonus.


FRANK– Ives, I want to know your opinion on Terrance Boyd. There has a large group on here lately clamoring for him to get a start in the Hex. I personally think he’s too young and inexperienced, and I don’t believe his performances with the Nats have been that great. Although I do think he will be a huge factor on the USMNT in the future. I wouldn’t mind seeing him called up for the WCQ, but I think a start is a little extreme. Can we put the Boyd love on hold for a little bit? Thoughts?

SBI– I think Terrence Boyd is going to be a breakout star, but his time isn’t here yet. Anyone asking for him to start over Altidore right now is jumping the gun and suffering from “Anyone but the current guy” syndrome. I see Boyd on the 2014 World Cup team, and potentially being a serious factor in that tournament, but right now I wouldn’t say he should start or be playing. I did think he would get called up though.


LEFTCOASTMETRO– Ives, as a Red Bull fan here, my heart is overjoyed by Petke’s hiring, while my brain is convinced he’s been put into an impossible situation for a new coach (crazy expectations, big egos, etcetera). Which vital organ of mine do you most agree with?

SBI– I think your body read the situation well. There’s reason to be optimistic because of Petke’s love for the team and ties to the club, but he has zero experience and is faced with a brutal job of managing big egos and the expectations that come with leading a big-spending team. I’d say he has a bit more wiggle room because people will have patience with him, but if he’s just not equipped to be a head coach then things could definitely get ugly.

That said, I think having Robin Fraser as his assistant, and having the backing of veterans like Tim Cahill and Thierry Henry, should help him make the transition. It’s no sure bet he will succeed though. Enjoy the ride and hopefully for your sake things don’t get ugly.


ADAM M.— MLS held that big marketing event in Flushing Meadows Park, Queens with Garber, hundreds of fans, a bunch of community leaders, free t-shirts and balls and empanadas, nice pictures of where they’d like to put a stadium, and a promise not to screw up the park. They still seem to be missing a team, some owners, and approval for a stadium though. How close are we to MLS2 really? Are the Cosmos an option or the competition?

SBI– I’ve always said a second NY MLS team was inevitable, and I still think it happens, but that event didn’t really mean much at all beside being a nice photo op and declaration of the league’s intentions. It really felt more like Don Garber’s “We’re getting this done, you watch” party. I’m not sure how close the project really is to happening. Still think its three years away. As for the Cosmos, I’d say they feel more like the competition now than an option for MLS. At least that’s how the Cosmos are portraying things now.



      • Fact of the matter is that the USNT needs to find replacements for the OLDER center backs in our player pool. This requires us to limit the number of Vets of equal or lesser skill we can call into camps….And DeMerit is 3rd or 4th in the Vet pecking order (Boca, Goodson, Gooch/DeMerit). Only 1 of these 4 has at this time has any hope of contributing past this summers Gold Cup.

        There are usually 4 CB’s called into a given Camp. As it stands right now Cameron is the only given. While I think Boca should have started in the Honduras match (if healthy), he has receintly had issues getting playing time with his club…I personally wouldn’t drop Boca for DeMerit. That leaves the other 2 roster spots open for younger guys who need the experience. In the eye’s of the coaching staff those guys are Gonzalez and Besler (right or wrong they appear to be the favored next in line). If Gonzalez and/or Besler have difficulties with their club form or with the international camp/games over the next 6 months we’ll see them replaced with the next in the depth chart , whoever that may be (John, Brooks, Packwood, etc…). We’ll know more about who the coaches see as the backups to the backups after the U-20 WC and the Gold Cup….but I’m fairly certain we’ll see less and less of Goodson/Gooch as the year goes on.

  1. Im more interested in the NY2 drama. From the recent news it seems like Orlando will be the 20th team, and deservedly. The Cosmos seem to be taking the eastern half of NYC area and invested in the NASL program and not looking to become the customer in Garber’s big dream . If the NASL is able to keep the Cosmos and MLS’s centrally planned MLS2 doesn’t take off then Garber could really in for it!

  2. “CHRIS- Who is needed more to there respective group: Donovan to the USMNT or Daryl on the Walking Dead? I am devastated by both.”

    I wish we would stop answering fluff questions about TV shows and instead answer an extra question about SOCCER.

  3. Can we please only speak about football/soccer?

    There many leagues in different countries with nationals on their teams only. Here in the US is different because of our mix.

    Lets concentrate on following MLS for the sport and not the legalities.

  4. I’d like to know why do some of you care so much that Chivas is doing what they’re doing? Let them be their own worst enemy…..if you live in some city that has no MLS team within 1000 miles and are mad that this ownership is doing such a horrible job with their team and would rather MLS move it to your town well guess what…..your town needs more than Chivas USA doing shitty even illegal job of running their team. I don’t really know for sure if it is illegal but doubt it given that both MLS and Jorge Vergara have attorneys so I will give them the benefit of the doubt they did their due diligence.

    Does it make you mad because you feel players are losing a chance to play? Guess what the player pool is NOT that deep….plenty of room for players to go somewhere else…Riley fits in perfectly at DC now that Najar was sold to Anderlecht and even then he was never a natural Right Back….Sharlie should work fine at Seattle even as a CB which is what Chivas used the most as…. Zemanski is with the coach that made him known at Akron….the players can go to other teams….let Chivas be their whatever disaster or joke I kind of hope they do great, because that is truly the only thing that will make so they don’t have to tarp up almost half of the HDC seats….and then it will bring even MORE publicity to MLS and people might watch a little just to see them lose hopefully….because lets face it if Chivas is on TV whether it’s NBC, ESPN/2/Deportes, or NBC nobody really watches Chivas unless it’s a VERY good opponent they want to see or if it’s their team they’re facing lol

    • Personally i like the new look Chivas a lot more now! Before they were MLS’ poor attempt at a mix of a famous Mexican team and the LA Clippers. They are finally growing some cojones and becoming something of their own. I think its stupid how they are doing it! But its due time they do something.

      If i was running the club I would have started the chicano movement day 1 with the academy, draft picks, signings and coaching staff. Once they actually have a chicano option at GK or CDM then trade away Kennedy or Joseph! Doing it the opposite is just going to set them up for a few terrible years before anything happens.

  5. Does anyone know what is happening with Freddy Adu’s career? Philly has said they do not want him. Will they trade him within MLS (does he have any trade value? does anyone want him?) Assuming they follow Ives’ advice, what are his options if his contract is bought out. Does he have interest from European clubs?

    • Rumor mills say Adu to Mexico or Korea…but not sure I buy it.

      Let me preface my post and say I am neither a Freddy fan or Hater. In fact I met him twice at PPL Park and he seems a nice enough guy.

      As a Union season tix holder with some inside sources I can tell you it is rumored that Freddy was not well liked in the locker room. He was being paid over 10x what some bigger contributors on the Union were being paid and many would say not pulling his weight much less earning his $500k. Some fans sarcastically wore shirts with”Adu Not Run” on their backs. I personally thought he had some fine moments, but feel he had some issues that are well documented. I was at every game but one…Freddy rarely seemed to play like his heart was in it. I was also in the Rose Bowl for the Gold Cup Final and I will give him credit for some inspired play there.

      One telling thing to me was that Adu never circled the stadium with the rest of the team clapping to the supporters, as all the other players did….Valdes, Carroll, Farfans et al always did win, lose, or tie.

      I think the questions to ask are who wants him and who can afford him?

      Personally! I would have liked to see him thrive at Philly, but alas I think it is past spilled milk. Either Nick Sakiewicz and Hackworth eat crow, eat his salary (or part in a deal), trade him for another out of favor player, or loan/sell him outright. I wonder every day which will happen.

    • Haha. Come on man. It’s Wednesday. How long do you expect to get away with waiting? Haha. Then again, you could say spoilers are like Walkers. You never know when one will creep up and ruin your day.

  6. Klinsmann couldn’t use Gomez because he had already blown through all three of his substitutions. Terribly managed game on his part. No need to speculate and make excuses for why he didn’t use Gomez beyond that imo.

    “As for the other players, I’m not sure Edgar Castillo or Jose Torres make a difference against Honduras on that day.”

    True, but Joe Corona on the right side instead of three CDMs could have made a difference in that game.

  7. So, if I own a national company, and have a branch in Mississippi, I would not have a Title VII problem, if I had a branch policy against hiring Blacks? Just because as a whole, the company has hired some Blacks?

    Nothing is simple in the law, but you might want to bounce this off someone with an actual law degree before answering…

    • If you have an Italian restaurant and you want to hire a chef from Italy you can do that. From what I’ve read in the past it’s ok to look for certain race/religion if it fits your needs. On the otherhand you can’t have a policy of excluding one race or religion. For example you can’t say you are willing to hire anyone except Chinese people. That would violate the law.

    • You need more than a law degree. you need an labor & employment lawyer. or actually, an hr manager may have the answer as well. In either case, she could give you an answer off the top of her head, or she could look it up and give you a definitive answer. Me, I have a law degree. I am not a labor lawyer, and I am too lazy to look it up to post it on a soccer blog. LOL

  8. Im all for it. Lets see chivas try this all mexican experiment and watch it fail. Then we can finally get a competent team in a deserving market.

    • Also I know people like to complain that mexicans are “underepresented” in the US team but can you name any deserving mexicans that havent been given a shot? Bocanegra has been a main stay on the team for years. Torres, Castillo and Orozco have all been given a shot and havent produced. Torres still gets called in after having done nothing for 3 years. Gomez did well and he got called in. Same for Gonzalez. How many mexican americans are in europe playing at the highest level? None. It goes hand in hand with youth players. Everybody likes to say there is this untapped mine of world class mexican americans that are neglected but wouldnt Liga MX teams have found these kids by now? Im not saying there arent kids that have fallen through the cracks because there are players of all races that have but the fact is every mexican american that has signed in mexico have come from established US youth soccer clubs

      • There are still huge cracks in the American scouting network for many talented young hispanic players to fall through. Its not that there is some pro waiting to be signed up right now but plenty of 8-10-12 year old kids who go unnoticed for too long. Given the proper training/coaching/environment and all that they could turn out to be very good players. Our system (pay to play ect ect ect) hurts the hispanic population a lot.

      • Yet the pay to play system is used for every sport in the US and impoverished players are still able to play. People complain about the pay to play system and then come right back and discredit free institutions like high school and college teams. Ive played with kids who pay next to nothing to play while better players have to play full price because they’re considered priveledged. Of course there is cracks in the system where players of ALL races fall through in a country roughly the size of europe. The USSF cant afford to fund this whole country. Given proper training any player could become good thats common sense but just because a player is hispanic doesnt make him inherently better than a player of another race just as paying more money doesnt guarentee better coaching.

      • And insufficient coaching at a young age is a problem at all economic backgrounds. It is a lack of grass root knowledge of the sport which will change with time more so than discrimination

      • Insufficient youth coaching is a huge problem. No one is denying that. What I meant was there are greater odds of a kid from the suburbs getting noticed and put in the pipeline (with better coaching) than a poor hispanic kid. For the record, I realize not all good poor soccer players are hispanic.

      • I think the point is that there a bigger cracks in soccer scouting than other major sports in the country. These cracks are even bigger in poorer soccer communities(mainly hispanics). The hispanic community produces lots of soccer talent that goes unnoticed. We could do better to mine those resources. That is all.

      • Gaucho,

        I doubt that anyone who has spent more than a day or two looking over the US soccer situation would disagree with you too much. But it is an old and tired refrain.

        Players fall through the cracks in every major sport in every country and we hear about it as nauseum, Tom Brady drafted in the sixth round, Kurt Warner not drafted at all…

        What I want to hear from you is what can anyone do about it? Do you have any sensible suggestions ?

      • I think this has gotten a bit away from the original post. I was originally just trying to point out that it is very likely that our scouting network is missing plenty of young hispanic players. The original poster seemed to think that was not much an issue.

        As far as a fix goes, that is a work in progress. Soccer infrastructure is steadily growing throughout the country, and it just takes time. We are very far ahead of where we were even 10 years ago. That is a good sign for the future. The old metaphor of “casting a bigger net” applies here. We are identifying way more prospects than we used to. That will only increase our odds of finding eventual national team talent.

      • Baseball I can agree is pay to play and BIG TIME since the public schools I know that are among the best in the nation they need a bunch of money from students…but for Basketball and Football how is pay to play even considered the way the US Sports are fed players? Yeah there’s tuition but come on most guys who became pros are on scholarships and in High School there’s hardly any kid who is elite in a private prep school who actually pays….in Texas there’s few as private schools are limited under UIL rules to compete with the school athletic system…

      • I think you are a little confused because any highschool sport is free to students funded by the school, sponsors or boosters that donate money. Im not talking about the highschool route im talking about the club side of the sports. Pop warner football, AAU baseball and basketball, and hockeys club side even private track teams are all pay to play. Prep and private schools are also huge in these sports. Andrew Wiggins the number 1 basketball recruit in the nation pays to play for a prep school.

        People love to knock high school soccer but the fact is its the closest thing to a professional environment in this country. From personal experience, we practiced 3 hours every weekday while I only practiced 4 times a week with my academy team. Highschool gave me access to a free weight room, a trainer and other perks like ice baths all for free. We had a team 22 deep of players that could all ball. I improved the most physically and technically during highschool. It was a perfect accent to the academy season. Playing against players about to commit to top NCAA programs as a freshman is vital for player development. It allows players to hone the technical and physical aspects of their game. Highschool was 4 months out of the year were players had to apply what theyve learned to real game situations where winning was everything. Its sad the USSF has deemed highschool soccer not worthy as you could have put time and resources into the system and improved it so much. We could have had hundreds of free Bradenton academy like institutions all over the country but instead we force players to avoid it.

  9. As far as Boyd not being ready to start over Altidore, I’m not sure about that. Altidore is 23 years old and has been starting for 4-5 years. Boyd is 22. My starters are Gomez and Dempsey. If one of them is unavailable or Dempsey plays in midfield I would certainly give some other players a chance to start. Whats the justification of starting Altidore, he hasn’t score in a year and a half? You could argue that the formation doesn’t suit him but unless Klinnmann changes the formation what the advantage of continuing to start the same forward that hasn’t scored in so long?

    • He’s an in form scorer? He scored tons of goals for us last qualifying? USA lacks offense in the midfield to get the ball to any of our goal scorers? Age is irrelevant, but real game experience matters.

  10. Not only does MLS make it very difficult to leave they also don’t give the player 10% transfer fee. I’m surprised by that. If I was a talented young player I wouldn’t sign with MLS.

  11. I think what Chivas is doing is actually very smart from a branding standpoint. I know that most people on message boards have hated the whole Chivas USA thing period, but from a marketing standpoint this is brilliant. Chivas is truly attempting to make themselves the Chivas of the US. The one comment about alienating 2/3 of the fan base is only relevant if you do not increase the size of your new fan base more. In reality, Chivas was never going to win by attacking a similar fan base as the Galaxy anyway. This is a win-win situation. If it works they will have successfully branded. If it fails, then pack up bags and move to greener pastures (SD, etc.). It is not like they are not headed that direction the way things are going now.

    • The name is probably just as big a hurdle. They are marketing themselves now towards hispanics but have a name that will turn off most true hispanic soccer fans. If I am a Club America fan the last thing I would do is root for a team named Chivas… that’s like asking Boston Red Sox fans to root for a local semi-pro team owned by and named after the New York Yankees. Heck, might as well find some Liverpool fans here in America and ask them to root for a new team called Manchester United of New York City. Hey guys, let’s rename DC United as DC Dallas Cowboys and see how many new fans we can attract!

      • Chivas USA is such a bad, bad marketing ploy all the way around.

        1. The entire dynamic inherently draws racial/ethnic lines.

        2. If you are a fan of any Mexican team other than Chivas you would never root for them.

        3. Latinos, other than those of Mexican descent (ie – salvdorean, honduran, costa rican, etc), are not going to root for them.

        4. Mainstream Americans are not going to root for them.

        5. If you are someone who roots for the real Chivas, you will feel that Chivas USA is a cheaper, un-original version.

        Please re-brand and move to another market.

        Thank you.

      • 1. As is the original chivas brand.

        2. Fans of other teams root for players from a rival if they play for a different team. Not apples to apples, but think earthquakes fans and Donovan when he plays for us. Not a favorite, but not stopping people from rooting for them.

        3. Because other Latinos can’t root for as American club team? This does not make much sense. It is like saying there cannot be French Chelsea fans.

        4. Probably right

        5. Cheaper maybe, unoriginal maybe….but that does not necessarily mean they won’t cheer for them.

        While I agree they should have rebranded long ago. If they are refusing to do it, then this is the best option for them.

    • I think a lot of conservative white people react to the branding but as a soccer fan my concern is they box themselves in, in terms of personnel. Not every Canadian has to play in Canada, so to speak…..Houston had a few at the same time as the Canadian teams were coming in. The other teams aren’t just going to sit there and let you sign all the good hispanics. And in terms of competing with them on the talent market, you write off x% of the pool before you start. Johnny Spector comes home? Nope. Charlie Davies? Nope. Gooch? Nope. Some college draft pick stud who happens to be non-hispanic? Nope. There are some Mexican names out there but then they might prefer Mexico for better salary and quality.

  12. Klinnsman choices against Costa Rica are not easy, but some things remain clear: use a formation with the best players available. If wingers are to be used then some DM’s should not be called in. Let’s see some consistency with players playing regularly and in their natural position being called in to play and use the best formation with what is available. Our CB and Winger positions are not stable and a big part of that is players not playing regularly at there club. Cost Rica will come at us on the wings and sending in passes at the Center Back’s (count on that happening). We have no speed in midfield for a counter attacking game plan. Our midfield needs no mover much better ‘off the ball’ and support each other improving possession and passing. Our midfield needs to play more of a zonal game and shift left to right / north to south as a group to help in possession and applying immediate pressure on defense when losing possession. Should the U.S. have more possession in midfield we can activate our backs to make north south runs. Collectively the USMNT really have to focus for 90+ minutes. Our attacking midfielder (s) need to make runs into the final third to make center backs respond and pressure (this will create openings for the forwards to make runs). Gomez really needs to get back in the game. Gomez makes many runs that create space, but if our midfield is 30 yards apart from each other and cannot connect passes together, the hard work Gomez does will be for nothing most of the time. We really need a simple fundamental game plan, formation, and position specific players as a backbone.

  13. What bothers me most about the Chivas policy is not the ‘latinization’ or ‘mexification’ of the team. That is a business strategy on their ‘USA’ brand.

    What bothers me is their stated intention of making the USA brand subservient to the Guadalajara brand! For those of you wanting relegation…you got it! Chivas USA has been relegated to AAA standing…and as the MLS rises to compete with Liga MX, Chivas USA will fall farther and farther behind,. Too bad too…good ‘fantatics’ at Chivas USA. I would follow them except for ‘subservient branding’.

    • I have to admit that I haven’t read all the articles on this, can you point to the article where he uses that language? Because up to this point, i felt that the USA brand was perhaps headed in a direction of doing for Americans with Latino descent, what CDG could not do: give them a club with the chivas brand for which they could play. What I mean is, because they cannot play for CDG until they declare themselves eligible for El Tri, players who are good enough for some kind of first team soccer can play at C-USA.

      I think this isn’t exactly their intention– but nor do I think that C-USA is meant to be some kind of minor league team for the Liga MX team.

      if this post seemed kind of confused, its probably because I was confused by the post to which I am responding–apologies.

      • Just give a couple years and the owner will forget about this too. Remember a few years back he said he wanted Chivas USA to be full of only American players. That didn’t last too long as Juan Pablo Angel arrived shortly after that declaration as did most of the other foriegn players.

  14. So many great questions and insightful answers, but this one stuck out as pure madness: most players receive 10% of their own transfer fee, but MLS teams waive that in their contracts so that sold players receive nothing when they’re sold. What the h? MLS has many screwy rules, but that one takes the cake.

    • Some MLS teams who started the league are still in the red and so it’s a part of a big mechanism to get teams more and more revenue….

      Hopefully as time passes, and we see a new Collective Bargaining Agreement things like that will change along with a very much needed raise in the Salary Cap…..I hope it gets to at least 5 or 6 million which would mean after getting 3 DPs a team would have about 4 or 5 million for another 25+ players….and with more and more Homegrown players maybe teams will fill their rosters more with players who don’t count towards the cap…..but all of this is due to the “training wheels” type of structure set up in the beginning, it will only change as the league sees more growth

    • Don’t they write the contracts that way ? I doubt it is a RULE. MLS is free to write their contracts anyway they want. IF the players don’t like it, they can play elsewhere.

      Maybe it is bad to write contracts that way, maybe it isn’t. They are doing a fine job of getting talent. Maybe someday that talent pushes back.

  15. I’m not convinced that you know whether Chivas’ preference for hiring Latinos is legal, Ives. I’d like to hear from an expert on this.

    • So apply to work for Chivas. If they turn you down for not being Latino, see if you can find an attorney in LA to take the case.

      Chivas hasn’t fired anybody. The players traded away never worked for Chivas, they work for MLS. They’re still employed by MLS.

      • That’s exactly what reporters do. I’m not saying Ives should have consulted a lawyer while answering a Q & A, but it’s not at all beyond the pale. It’s the way the work is done.

      • I’ve consulted lawyers about the Chivas USA issue for some time now, and it’s why my answers about the legality are what they are.

      • I’m an employment lawyer and I respectfully disagree with the lawyers you’ve talked to. Seems like clear-cut national origin discrimination to me and I don’t see how being Mexican or Latino could possibly be a bona fide occupational qualification in this situation.

        The idea that only Latino players or, even more ridiculous, only players of Mexican descent, can play a certain way or implement the “style” they supposedly want, is a real stretch.

      • I think the part you may be missing is that MLS as a single entity is a “corporation”, and Chivas USA is one of their “offices”. People are not being denied jobs or getting fired, they are being moved to different “offices” inside the same company.

      • Well….is not much of a stretch at all…..if you can’t see that I don’t know how to help you see it…..but the latin style of 1v1 and maybe not so direct and run, run, run of so called “athletes” that we’ve based MLS player pools with is a lot of times different from what Chivas claims they want.

        In any case, they want people with Latin influence that can be Latino players born in Latin America or Hispanic ones. Born here with Latin family background…..Steve Purdy is not really a Salvadorian resembling guy….he is pretty white and he’s on the team now. So is Dan Kennedy and he is their captain from what I’ve read.

      • If we are speaking of a more free flowing play, would Dutch players, white or black, who are typecast of being able to play 1 touch or as you say 1v1 style be eligible for Chivas USA? Or is it about the shade of skin?

      • Well ideally Dutch players would be fine….I don’t know if Chivas USA would go for it….but again how many Dutch players are we going to find in LA or Cali or the US???

        More important is about what’s locally available..they do have Kennedy, the French guy…..a couple of Black players of South American background but black players non the less…

      • I’m a lawyer who works for a judge in a court that resolves many employment disputes, and were a company to outright state, “We prefer Mexican employees in a certain division or department of our company,” they would lose on summary judgment, big time. You simply aren’t allowed to use race as even a small factor in employment, unless you have an extremely good reason to do so, which in my estimation has not been shown here as a matter of law.

      • Your question relates to whether or not an “adverse employment action” has been shown, which is a necessary element of a prima facie employment discrimination case.

        1) A player who was forced to move across the country and play on a different team because (in part at least) he was the wrong race. That is an adverse employment action.

        2) A player who was skipped over in the draft in favor of a Mexican American player may have a claim that impermissible hiring factors were used.

        Also, there is the possibility of a “hostile work environment” type claim, which does not require an adverse employment action. Essentially, the employee player could show that ethnic favoritism made it a bad place to work, and could likely support a claim with such allegations.

      • Affirmative action context is the only way race is allowed to factor in if I’m not mistaken. Even then it’s given strict scrutiny by the court system. I think the single entity point makes all the difference in this case as has been stated. For all intents and purposes the league might as well be composed of however many hundred players. The distribution of the players teamwise is insignificant. The way I see it, MLS as a corporation would have to outright make a series of moves that demonstrates blatant discrimination against a certain race or national origin. And given that MLS is composed of primarily Caucasians, theres just not a strong argument. Plus as has been stated the team is being captained by Dan Kennedy.

      • You are conflating the equal protection analysis of the 14th amendment, which applies to the government (and is where strict scrutiny is relevant) with Title VII prohibitions that restrict private employers.

        1. There is no “affirmative action” exception to Title VII, even though many employers essentially maintain affirmative action type programs in hiring.

        2. The rest of your post is a mish mash of nonsense, and I sincerely hope you did not go to law school. As stated, a corporation is not free to discriminate in placing employees in a single office/department/location.

        2. If you are a law student, please drop out now, because your analysis is beyond pathetic. The fact that the team keeps Dan Kennedy on board as the Plaintiff would allege, a “token” white boy, does nothing to defeat the Plaintiff’s claim, especially with very explicit statements by management that they prefer Mexican players.

        3. Your final reference to MLS being a majority of Caucasians is unclear. If you are implying some sort of allowance for Chivas USA to prefer Mexicans because the league is majority white as some sort of bizzare soccer affirmative action program, there would be no legal recognition of such defense.

    • In other words you didn’t like the answer so you’re just going to assume it’s wrong because I’m not an “expert”. Fair enough. Something tells me if my answer had been different you would have had less trouble accepting it. 😉

      • No, thanks for the snark, but I simply think you don’t know. You’re making an educated guess. This kind of enterprise is unusual, MLS. Can one branch of a multi-branch national enterprise discriminate on the basis of ethnicity, shipping one ethnicity to a different branch? I’m not sure, but it would sound weird if it were, say, IBM doing it.

      • I think the point was MLS has it’s own legal team that has surely looked into this by now. If they thought something was amiss it would have been taken care of by now.

      • ” but the reality is there is nothing wrong with what Chivas USA is doing.”

        Do you really believe that Ives? Or are you speaking from a purely legal perspective?

        Regardless, I think it’s a disgrace. Footballers should not be selected to or excluded from a team because the color of their skin or their ethnic background, or anything other than their skills and attributes as a player.

        Should Real Salt Lake only take White Mormon players because they are underrepresented at the professional level and it would make a good business case. Or should the San Jose Earthquakes only employ ex-computer programmers because being so close to the Silicon Valley would make the team more marketable. My point is: why the need for labels? What is a Latino footballer, or a white footballer, or a black footballer? A footballer is a footballer and footballers of similar skills and attributes should have similar access and opportunities. Chivas USA is saying no you will not.

        Perhaps what Chivas USA are doing is not illegal in a court of law but this should be condemned in the court of public opinion, beginning with their fans first and foremost. Or wait do you have to be Latino to be accepted as a fan of Chivas USA?

      • This may seem like a far reach as a precedent, but… the University of Minnesota hockey team for years took only players from Minnesota. They were generally a good team over those years but didn’t win championships. Soon after they started taking a few outside players, they won two consecutive NCAA championships, in 02 and 03.

        Chivas de Guadalajara, of course, is a closer comparison. They’ve also suffered a lot with a Mexican-only policy and probably would have been a better team many years without it. Those key players you can get from outside Mexico (or Minnesota) can make the difference between being a pretty good team and winning championships.

      • What are you talking about? Correct me if I’m wrong but Chivas De Guadalajara has the most championship titles in Mexico. How exactly have they suffered???

      • They haven’t won much in YEARS….literary with no Cup in Mexico until last fall….and them making it only to the Libertadores final but losing they haven’t won anything in about 7 years….that’s 12 going on 13 Mexican league tournaments they’ve failed to win….I think before that it was 9 years so about 17 or 18 league tournaments without winning… Only thing they’ve won in the last 5 years is the Interliga which was a glorified way of deciding who played in the Libertadores which is no longer played….now they just send the teams according to table ranking. If you look at their 11 championships…8 of them were in a 14 year Golden era from 1956 to 1970. Took 17 years for another championship the 9th…10 for another one the 10th as I said before 9 for their last and 11th… Vergara hasn’t done much in terms of winning as an owner

    • I’m not sure that it is legal, just because this segment of the player population is underrepresented, does not mean that those players should all of a sudden get better treatment of players such and such. I don’t like the idea of a Mexican or Hispanic club in the United States, that would alienating other groups to promote another, especially for a diverse population that exist in this country.

      • Chivas USA did the same thing when they first started. Now they’re trying it again. The owner Jorge Vergara is a billionaire, I’m going to take a wild guess and say he has lawyers on staff and they checked into it.

      • In any event, this was never an official policy at Chivas USA, just a marketing stunt.

        On the PR side of things, it’s bad PR… which can also be good PR. I’m not sure if their sales have seen a boost, but Chivas USA is dominating the pre-season discussion, no?

        All this is arguably illegal. It is also, arguably, legal. The employee’s/plaintiff’s attorneys are saying it’s clearly illegal. Employer’s/defendant’s attorneys are saying it isn’t. Big surprise. Welcome to law kids.

        Politics is the foundation for all this talk of legality. As penance for my recent diatribe against a certain ignorant gay-basher (Robbie Rogers column), I will refrain from detailing my position here… except, boo hoo, cry me a river. Come back when your claims to racism are less “that team won’t field a large percentage of non-latino players I can vicaroiously live through”, more “I can’t get a living wage because I’m *insert your demographic*.”

        Finally, answer this question: assuming Chelis and Chivas USA hadn’t opted to market their stated preference for “Latino” players, do you think the players they released were worth keeping anyway? Or, would you be so upset if your MLS team offloaded James Riley or a bloated Shalrie Joseph salary?

    • It’s legal b/c MLS owns all player contracts. MLS can send the Hispanic-based players to their Chivas USA “branch” without violating any employment rules. If Ives is correct that Hispanic players are under-represented as a whole in MLS, you would get nowhere in a lawsuit claiming discrimination.

      That said, just cause it’s legal doesn’t make it right. They’re alienating 2/3 of their potential fanbase to appeal to the other 1/3.

      In a somewhat related point, this is why I hate having multiple teams in the same city. Chivas, to their own detriment IMO, is trying to make itself relevant with a branding strategy that is unique compared to the Galaxy. They’d be better off in a different city where they wouldn’t have to compete for the same fans’ attention. Same goes for NYC2. There are plenty of US cities that could support an MLS team, and if MLS expands its borders, it will gain a larger national TV audience–which is where they need the most growth right now.

      There’s your free legal and business advice from someone qualified to do neither. You’re welcome.

      • If Walmart or some other big box store used only black workers in its stores in Newark, Trenton and Camden and only white workers in its stores in Princeton, Bridgewater, etc. I am pretty sure some one would be suing. MLS might escape, because it does use Mexican players in teams other than Chivas and probably has yet to get rid of all the non-Mexican players on Chivas roster yet.

      • Key word in your analogy is “only”. Last time I checked Chivas USA has non-Mexican players on the team and in their coaching staff. If they didn’t then you’d have a better case.

      • Wrong again, Ives. The Walmart store would not be able to survive scrutiny simply because it kept a few white guys around. National origen discrimination in departments of an organization give rise to actionable claims, even if not every department participates in discrimination.

      • But you’re presuming that having a staff made up of blacks or whites only indicates discrimination. Fact is, there is no de facto policy at ChivasUSA. They still have several races represented well on their roster, to the point that even if there was a Title VII claim they would be able to justify their actions.

      • Actually, Chivas USA has repeatedly stated that they intend to field more Mexican players, i.e., hire more employees based on ethnicity/national origin. Those statements will get you past summary judgment on the “intention” prong of the analysis.

      • But again, let’s say there’s two Wal-Marts in distinct areas of the same town. Would it be illegal for them to transfer workers to/from based on say, their ability to speak a different language?

      • If one of those Wal-Marts can show that their customer base is heavily Hispanic would they not be justified in transferring employees there based on linguistic ability?

      • There is no problem for placing people according to language abilities. There is no protected class, at least federally, associated with knowing a language, i.e., you can freely discriminate based on this, which is treated very differently from discriminating based on race, even if the language requirement has a similar practical effect.

      • Ok, so find someone with standing and get them to sue, and or file an eeoc complaint. Who you got? Joseph? Townsend? Riley?

        Actually, it would be really interesting case law, given the odd structure of mls, who’d be responsible for any claims?

      • Here’s hoping you find one so you can take Chivas USA to court and get embarrassed by real lawyers who hake fake lawyer clerks for lunch.

      • Why don’t you try explaining why I’m wrong instead of making ad hominem attacks?

        You are most likely a personal injury insurance defense guy with a sad, sad life.

    • Chivas USA has a business model, and they aren’t doing anything illegal in putting that model into action

      That answer seemed pretty confident. I guess you’re saying (at best) that Ives is making an educated guess, but I tend to agree with his assessment of the situation. I’ll qualify my statement by saying that I don’t practice employment and labor law, but the fact that the displaced players are finding work within the same single entity (read: “employer”) makes this far from the simple answer that many people make this out to be. MLS’s legal is probably looking into it, and as Ives points out Kennedy is a pretty good example speaking against the team being racist.

      I personally think this move by the team is more about playing style (which arises out of culture), than about race. C-USA is taking what JK said early in his tenure (injecting more of the latin influence found in American soccer), and running with it–probably to an extreme. Time will tell if it works.

    • 1. They still have white/gringo players on their roster and they can always claim they want better players. Proving they were let go because they aren’t Latino would be tough.

      2. None of the players leaving Chivas really seem that upset. It’s more “Yipee!”

      3. Chivas aren’t firing anyone, they are just shipping them to a new team. So legally, there is no reason to sue so long as the players leaving are getting comparable salaries.

      4. At the end of the day, we’re at a “wait and see” period. Who knows, maybe they pull off major coops in the summer and win the league.

      5. The Chivas front office is finally caring about the team. So why complain? I’d rather have a team with a vision than one like NE when it’s obvious no one in the FO cares.

      My uneducated guess is they will get strong DPs in the summer. They have the connections and money. Dos Santos is still struggling to get playing time I think, so he could be a good bet. There are a couple other Latino icons floating around.

      The biggest problem with Chivas is that Latino supporters are generally die hard fans of specific teams from where they were from. Just because Chivas USA picks up Dos Santos, doesn’t mean fans will flock to them. So they will never be “Mexico’s US team” unless they drop the branding – which won’t happen unless they sell the club.

      I’m excited to watch Chivas this year just to see what happens. I can’t honestly say I’ve felt that way about them since their first season.

      • I’m expecting them to give Toronto a run for worst team in the league.

        I suppose if Hooters can hire only, oh, let’ s say perky upbeat women to be the waitresses then Chivas USA can trade off all their white and black players.

        And excellent point about how this kind of stupid marketing ploy can only happen when a team is the second team in town. Meanwhile cities like San Diego and St. Louis would both love to support a first team… even the entire SouthEast would like to have a regional team.

      • I see so many comments like this. Chivas’ policy has nothing to do with whether a player is white or black (i.e. race), and has everything to do with nationality/heritage (i.e. ties to Mexico). The 2 are very different things, and I really am frustrated that so many of my fellow countrymen don’t seem to understand the difference. Do we really think the USA is the only country with a diverse population? Trust me, Mexico City is arguably (tough to count accurately) the biggest city in the world, it is where a huge percentage of the total population of Mexico lives, and there are plenty of white, black, indigina, etc. people here- and they are all Mexicans. The Chivas (both Guadalajara and USA) policy has nothing at all to do with race.

      • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §2000e, et seq., prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of race, sex, NATIONAL Origin and religion.

        Discrimination refers to the treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit. Discrimination can be the effect of some law or established practice that confers privileges on a certain class or denies privileges to a certain class because of race, age, sex, NATIONALITY, religion, or handicap. Federal law, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, prohibits employment discrimination based on any one of those characteristics.

        I’m no lawyer and honestly don’t much care, but just because no one has challenged this “policy” in it’s first few months of implementation, does not mean they aren’t on shaky ground.

      • Your citation is correct, and you are correct for noticing that Chivas USA is taking a small risk here (small becuase, come on, who is really going to sue them for this?).

        But I think Original Aaron is commenting about another issue, one which I feel is at the root of this “legality” discussion.

        While I won’t accuse anyone here of racism (And please, do not read that as sarcasm. I don’t think you are a racist) it’s odd that people still confuse “Mexican” with a race.

        To this day, I have familly members who work with and among Salvadorians, Guatemalans, Nicaraguans, even Columbians (that’s a country in South America), and so on and so forth, yet my familly members STILL refer to them all as “Mexicans”. Long and short of it, when someone says “Mexican”, read “brown, non-english speaking foreign peoples.” It’s an odd and furstrating phenomonea for those of us who know how to read a map. Must be maddening for those who experience this otherwise minor form of ignroance on a regular basis.

      • Well, Mexicans love to accuse white people of being racist against them, so I think that may be why people consider it a race. I think its become a general term that applies to national origin discrimination. Further, there is clearly an American Hispanic racial makeup exemplified by the average Mexican immigrant, i.e., central American native American with Spanish.

      • Regardless- the point of my post was that race and nationality/heritage are different things. I’m tired if reading posts where people say, “what if Team X did the opposite and said they’d only hire white guys.” Well, if Team X did that, it wouldn’t be the opposite, b/c Chivas has in no way shape or form said that it won’t hire white guys, black guys, yellow guys, or any other color guys. They’ve simply said they wish to have more of a Mexican influence, and as Ives points out, Chivas USA is one department of a larger corporation. How is this different than other workplace diversity programs? I agree that it is a somewhat grey area, but that is precisely why I’m so tired of people hopping on their soapboxes- it isn’t a cut and dry issue, and people should stop acting like it is. By the way, I’ve yet to see one post on any soccer website, of a person complaining about TFC’s stated desire to get more Canadian players- which is exactly the same except that the franchise operates in Canada.

    • I think the problem is more practical. There is a specific range of players who fit into our style and salary levels, and if you then say, I will only take players of a certain type, you just narrowed the pool even further. Narrow it enough and you’ve given up a lot of the leveling virtues of this being a cap league with a lot of roster rules, because you’ve added your own set of rules on top of that.

      In theory Chivas’ way out was supposed to be that they could exploit their connections to Chivas proper and Mexico in general to bring in players MLS might otherwise not see. But the problem is you’re asking people to leave a more lucrative league for a mediocre-to-bad team with little history of success, and probably asking them to take a paycut to boot. How often willl that happen? I mean, in theory you have 3 DPs, but that still wouldn’t entirely fix the problem. And you’d still have international player limits, and all the other rules everyone else has to live by.

      I still think it goes to the fundamental contradiction of a team named Chivas on the wrong side of the border. How do you have a “nothing but Mexican” team in the US when you have traditionally defined that tightly? It’s no more portable than Athletic Bilbao or any other exclusive team. I think they’ve been more successful when they’ve gotten off the narrow obsessions — the Bradley years — but when they get into the branding they start narrowing the player pool in a salary cap league where it can be hard to build a winner on a budget. It’s like you take the usual budget/rule/does he fit our style questions and then multiply it 5X.

      And one thing I don’t think is being considered is the fans want a winner as much as they might like branding, with LAG in town they are not going to put up with a loser forever. Chivas used to be a decent franchise and was starting to push LAG before Beckham. The balance of power has clearly shifted back and now Chivas attendance is in a downward spiral. If the rebuild takes too long the pressure to field a better team is going to accumulate and they may develop a terminal attendance problem.

      • Agreed for the most part. They are really limiting themselves in an already limited market. If they want a Latin American influence, that is fine, but at the same time, you can’t shun a large potion of players because of their last names. Ideally they could get a couple Mexican DPs and a few other players to be able to appeal to their target demographic and still employ quality players of other heritages to make them successful. People like a winner and nothing puts fans in the stands like winning games. Their management team seems to lack an understanding of MLS.

      • To Mexican-American fans of other LigaMX teams besides Chivas:

        “We are going to create an offshooot of your rival club, that will always lose in a league you don’t really respect or care about, but they will mostly be Mexican players! Think you could get behind that?!”


        To Mexican-American Chivas fans:

        “We are going to create an offshooot of your favorite club, that will always lose in a league you don’t really respect or care about, but they will mostly be Mexican players! Think you could get behind that?!”


        To fans of any nationality besides Mexican-American:

        “We are going to create a club that will always lose in a league you might embrace, but they will mostly be Mexican players! Think you could get behind that?!”


        I’ve run out of scenarios…

    • Sounds like you boys can use an employment attorney… fortunately for you, I’m here to help.

      Is this a spoken policy of Chivas USA? As in, we’re only going to bring in Hispanic players? That’s a per se violation of Title VII. And Ives’s example that he thinks justifies the policy is equally illegal (a Mexican restaurant hiring only Mexicans). You can’t hire only one race/sex/religion/age of person “because it’s good for business,” that’s absurd. Now, if Chivas is just bringing in Hispanic players because, in its estimation, it thinks they’re better players and can suit its needs, that’s a whole other story. There’s a lot of subjectivity in athletes, so they have more flexibility if they just have a disproportionate number of Hispanics on their squad. But if they’ve said “we’re making a concerted effort to bring in more Hispanic players, because they’re Hispanic” they have a Title VII violation on their hands.

      The “office within a company” analogy is also misguided. Employers can’t get away with racist hiring just because they prefer to have the accounting/HR/etc. offices all of one race. Anytime a hiring decision is made with regard to race, no matter whether it’s a generalized company-wide policy, within one office, or for one type of position, it’s illegal. There’s no such safe harbor.

      In a lot of corners of America it might be good for business to have an all-white team just to cater to your fans, but that’s for damn sure illegal. There’s no reason it’s any different in this situation.

      • Never said the hypothetical restaurant hired ONLY Mexicans.

        As you said, there’s a lot of subjectivity when it comes to athletes and how pro sports teams can choose to build a team. I’ve spoken to multiple lawyers about this situation and you’re the first to say it’s illegal.

        At no point has Chivas USA come out and said “We don’t want white players.” They’ve said they want to have a stronger Mexican influence and tap into the Mexican-American talent pool. If you’re saying that is an absolute violation of Title VII then maybe you can argue the case if it ever goes to court.

        Could someone eventually file a lawsuit? Sure, as you know, anybody can file a lawsuit about anything. Would someone have a good chance of winning a case against Chivas USA? Nothing I’ve heard from any lawyer or official I’ve spoken to suggests that would ever happen.

        Funny thing is I thought we would have heard from some more lawyers in the comments section by now. From what I know, we have quite a few layers among the SBI readership.

      • So every ethnic restaurant in the country is breaking the law? Good to know.

        Going to go out on a limb and say that your interpretations of the application of these laws to the Chivas USA situation aren’t all that accurate. And no, I’m not a lawyer. I suppose we’ll find out soon enough. Should be fun.

      • You certainly are showing that you aren’t a lawyer. Let me quickly explain why you are wrong with at least your ethnic restaurant example.

        Having familiarity with a certain type of ethnic food is a legitimate requirement for employment. The fact that such a requirement also is highly correlated with an employee being of the same ethnic origin as the food would not be a violation of the law, because you are not engaging in INTENTIONAL ethnic discrimination. You are intending to discriminate by knowledge of food.

        Second, most people at ethnic restaurants hire friends/family etc. of their social group. They are hiring who they know in the neighborhood, which may correlate with being the same race as themselves. This does not equal intentional discrimination, so its legal.

        It would be illegal, however, for a restaurant to advertise saying, “We only hire Italians as our Italian restaurant.” It is perfectly fine to say “We only hire cooks who have experience cooking Italian food for 20 years,” which may mean all your cooks in practice are Italian, but so long as you are willing to consider non-Italians with equivalent experience, you are on solid ground.

        Finally, most of the restaurants I’ve ever known constantly breaks laws, hires undocumented immigrants to do dishes, doesn’t keep track of lunch break breaks, etc., so them breaking the law wouldn’t be big news.

      • Your analogy is way off. Chivas USA isn’t advertising anything and duh, of course Mexicans and Mexican Americans are going to have a higher degree of familiarity with the Mexican style of play that Chivas USA espouses in a similar fashion as Mexican employees have a greater degree of familiarity with the food at a Mexican restaurant.

      • @ TomG:

        1. The restaurant analogy was Ives, not mine. I was not comparing it to the Chivas USA situation- Ives was, and he was making this comparison based on an error in premise that there’s nothing illegal about an ethnic restaurant intentionally discriminating by ethnicity.

        2. Advertising has nothing to do with it, although Chivas USA is clearly openly stating they prefer Mexican Americans, period. At least if the article linked here is accurate.

        3. It would be fine for Chivas USA to adopt players that fit a certain style of play, if indeed that is the condition being used to qualify employment. It is not, however- ethnicity is being quite openly used as a qualifer for employment at this MLS location (chivas usa).

        Its obviously a novel situation, quite interesting considering the structure of MLS and the sports business context. I’d imagine that federal judges wouldn’t look too kindly on race based qualifiers of any kind these days.

      • Maybe it’s just me Kev but I really don’t get how anything you said refutes anything Ives said, or anybody has said about Chivas. I read all your comments and from what I can gather you’re prejudiced yourself, and you’re not much of a lawyer. That combination explains why you are so adamant about Chivas being wrong here.

      • Why don’t you explain why I’m wrong, scuba steve? Where is my legal analysis off? That’s the best way to show a lawyer he’s wrong, instead of attacking his character, and accusing him of being racist. Although the latter is much simpler.

        Also, even assuming I was a racist (which I’m not, if you knew anything of my soccer and personal background, fluency in spanish, etc.), how would that counter any of the points I made?

      • So lets say for the sake of argument that, indeed those at CUSA did state a definite preference for Latin American players. Given these statements any 10b6 or demurrer by MLS or CUSA is going to be denied. But perhaps at trial MLS and CUSA are able to qualify a witness as an expert in soccer who states that indeed the Latin culture sees the game differently, and therefore plays with a different style than the non-Latin Americans. CUSA then brings FO personnel–coaches, GM, President etc. to say that they wanted the team to play in that style that is fostered by Latin American cultures. Their preference for Latin American players, they argue, is borne from the fact that Latin American players are already familiar with this style, so it could be implemented more quickly. They then argue that there are non-Latin American players that can play this style, and point to Dan Kennedy as an example (taken for what it’s worth), among others.

        What do you think @kev? Legal then? Or still as clearly as you have continued to argue?

      • The Court would not allow the testimony to be offered. The Plaintiff would move for summary judgment on the affirmative bonafide occupational qualification (“BFOQ”) defense and win, because a mystical latino factor is not enough to prove that being latino is a strictly essential element to the job, which is the BFOQ test.

        To use this exception to the rule against discrimination, an employer must be able to prove that no member outside the desired group could perform the job. A simple example would be a job for a women’s bathroom attendant.

        Obviously, there are plenty of successful soccer players that are not latino, and the preference for the mystical latino factor will not be a sufficient reason to gain the protection of the defense.

        Don’t tell me you are a lawyer. Please. That would be sad.

        Also, its 12(b)6, not 10(b)6.

    • Regardless if it’s legal or not, Chivas USA is such a bad, bad marketing ploy all the way around.

      1. The entire dynamic inherently draws racial/ethnic lines which is not needed in LA or anywhere in this country.

      2. If you are a fan of any Mexican team other than Chivas you would never root for them.

      3. Latinos, other than those of Mexican descent (ie – salvdorean, honduran, costa rican, etc), are not going to root for them.

      4. Mainstream Americans are not going to root for them.

      5. If you are someone who roots for the real Chivas, you will feel that Chivas USA is a cheaper, un-original version.

      Please re-brand and move to another market.

      Thank you.


Leave a Comment