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Chivas USA purchased by MLS


Photo by Michael Janosz/


The news so many Major League Soccer fans have been clamoring for is finally here: MLS has purchased Chivas USA.

The league announced on Thursday afternoon its purchase of Chivas USA from owners Jorge Vergara and Angelica Fuentes. The struggling Los Angeles-based club will be operated by MLS in 2014, but is expected to be sold to one of several interested parties in the coming months. The team will remain in LA, but will be rebranded ahead of the 2015 season.

“We thank Jorge Vergara and Angelica Fuentes for their significant commitment to Major League Soccer,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. “Jorge was an early believer in the league and he and Angelica have been great partners in MLS.  We collectively agreed that it is best to sell the club to new owners who are committed to securing a new stadium and providing MLS with a strong rival for the LA Galaxy.”

MLS will lead the discussions for a new stadium for Chivas USA, who currently pay to play in the Galaxy’s StubHub Center and struggle to draw anywhere near as many fans as their rivals on a consistent basis. The Goats will continue to play at the soccer-specific stadium in 2014.

The league is also expected to name an experienced sports executive as Chivas USA’s interim president in the near future. New Chivas USA head coach Wilmer Cabrera will remain with the club and report to the new president.

Since debuting in 2005, Chivas USA has mostly struggled for mediocrity on the field and had several high-profile hiccups off of it. Last year, they were sued over allegations of racism and discrimination in the work place.

Vergara has received a lot of the criticism for that given that he assumed full control of Chivas USA with Fuentes in 2012 and stated that the club needed to return to the roots of its sister club, Liga MX side Chivas de Guadalajara.

Vergara was part of the initial ownership group that bought the expansion team back in 2005.

“When Angelica and I gained full operational control of the team for the first time 15 months ago, we were hopeful we would be able to turn it around,” said Vergara. “However, there is only one Chivas de Guadalajara, and we have realized that it will require more time, further resources, and a level of commitment that would divert too much of our focus from our other business interests.

“We explored opportunities to sell to other groups, but we believe selling the franchise to MLS on an expedited basis is in the best interests of all parties, including the team’s players and its dedicated fans. MLS has assured us they are committed to keeping the club in Los Angeles and finding the right owners to make the team successful in the future. We greatly appreciate the leadership and collaboration of Don Garber and his colleagues at MLS, which resulted in an efficient transaction that benefits all the parties involved.”

The news of the sale comes days after it was revealed that the club had tried to file trademarks for the names Los Angeles FC and Los Angeles SC. Logos were included with both names.

Chivas USA, which finished in last place in the Western Conference in 2013, begin their final season with a home match on March 9 against the Chicago Fire.


What do you make of this news? More shocked than happy? Wishing this would have happened much sooner? Like the idea of keeping the team in Los Angeles or would you prefer to see it moved elsewhere?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. It’d be nice if they rebranded right now; and it may have been the plan given the half-baked logos that were shown. A simple name change for the transition.

  2. $70 million. IF that is true, wow. Forbes had them at revenues of $15mm a year…not profit, that was negative, revenue.
    I guess the Sounders are worth $300 million now.

    Seems very out of whack. I get that LA has potential, but MLS shouldn’t be giving money ( fair money or excess money ) to someone that ran a team into the ground like that.

    ps. no wonder MLS wants to expand…that kind of money coming into the league…no wonder others want in, too.

  3. Move the team to a densely populated area of LA or move it to another city that would go to the stadiums.

    MLS has to make the jump and put stadiums in places where they will be packed and buy DPs good enough to be starlets in Europe and keep young players in their prime here.

  4. My dream MLS number of teams by 2026, that’s if Mexico,Canada or USA host World Cup 2026.
    Would be 28 teams but holding #29 & #30 for promotion and relegation. ( 28 MLS teams and 2 more coming from division 2 with promotion and relegation, making it 30 teams)
    Therefore MLS does not need no more than 2 conferences, just west and east in order to work with promotion and relegation.
    If MLS and NASL don’t work together, then MLS should start their MLS -2 in about 6 to 7 years, by recruiting teams from NASL and UslPro in order to start promotion and relegation.
    Remember, have 28 MLS1 teams, with teams # 29 & 30 coming from division 2 and MLS1 teams
    won’t be relegated due to respect of starting the league but as years go, yes.
    Therefore I would like
    23. Atlanta
    24 San Antonio
    After 2020
    25 Sacramento west
    26 Las Vegas west before NBA gets it,
    27 Minneapolis
    28 cosmos
    29 and 30 come from MLS2 which fight to stay in MLS1, since no MLS1 teams don’t get relegated .
    Remember if MLS and NASL don’t work together, then MLS starts MLS2 by recruiting teams from NASL and UslPro, making a 16 team league and starting promotion and relegation like I said. Then by starting MLS2, you can have teams like st.louis, Charlotte, Nashville, okc, Phoenix, Indy fighting to earn that west or east promotion spot, which will be team # 29 & # 30.
    It’s not rocket science, make it happen MLS.

    • tl;dr but I did catch “relegation” in there. It will never exist in the US the way it does elsewhere. We’re just as likely to start driving on the left and using celsius as embracing pro/rel. I wish it wasn’t true, but it is.

      • MLS will do their own promotion and relegation, but not involving MLS1 teams due to respect of the league growth and expansion but Remember I said, my dream would be for MLS to have 28 teams, but technically having 30 counting the MLS2 teams #29 & #30.
        Stay with west and east conferences, and if MLS and NASL don’t want communicate, will MLS can easily start their own MLS2, by recruiting teams from NASL and USLpro. Have an MLS2 with 14 to 16 teams with west and east conferences as well, in order to promote and relate on spot in each conference.
        Simple as that, is not rocket science, but MLS needs to start thinking about MLS2 now and I think, my idea of promotion is the simplest way to begin with and grow from it.

      • i love the pro/rel structure as much as the next guy but there are like 6 MLS clubs right now that are hemorrhaging money. They are only being kept afloat because Seattle, LA, Portland and a couple others have increasing revenues each year.

      • Not a chance. It wouldn’t exist in the rest of the world if it handn’t been introduced at a time when there wasn’t so much money to be lost through relegation.

        Also, exactly what would the scheduling look like for a league that big? Unelss you want to accept a situation where teams don’t play each other at least once home and away, this could be a massive season. No top tier league in the world that big, is there?

  5. Why would another soccer team make it in Los Angeles, maybe put it ??????
    Please let’s not be delusional MLS fans on Los Angeles.
    Galaxy need a new stadium or remodel their digs in order to compete with the big teams now like Seattle, tfc, nycfc and so on.
    The door has open for Sacramento, San Antonio, and cosmos.

  6. With all respect, there’s is no need for another team in the Los Angeles area or surrounding areas. The reason why I think is no needed is simply because galaxy owns that market. As a matter of fact, galaxy would gain more fans if the team would get a new stadium around downtown.
    If MLS wants another Los angles team, they would have to target the Spanish speaking people, the bilingual soccer fans who watch mexican soccer.
    Another point, pretty much MLS can put a second team in every market targeting Hispanics, like in Chicago, Denver, Dallas, New York but we know it’s not possible, so MLS has to be careful about Los Angeles.
    In reality, my point is that MLS can not have two teams in LA, it’s not New York. If Los Angeles get a new second team, it would have to be in a heavy Hispanic populated area, if not it will not succeed.
    By the way, this opens another expansion spot, maybe San Antonio or Sacramento might get
    lucky since Atlanta will be number 23 and 24?
    But……. What if a foreign rich owner wants Los Angeles but I doubt it, but I see green in the future, meaning Cosmos green. The doors are open once again for cosmos, thank you chivas USA.

    • you aren’t from LA, are you?

      No soccer team “owns the market” in this city. Two years ago, when LA Galaxy’s games were on Fox Sports West, they were getting on avg 20k viewers. They were getting more people watching them in person than on TV. That’s not a sign of LAG owning the market.

      Los Angeles FC (if that’s what Chivas becomes) will be very successful if they move to DTLA and get a stadium. And, considering the Sports Arena space is available and that USC wants an MLS club as a tenant there, it’s highly likely this will happen.

      Soccer is not like basketball in LA. The Lakers own the city, no matter how well the Clippers play. Soccer is different. No soccer club owns this “market”

    • You don’t have a clue how spread out LA, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties are. You could probably put 2 teams in LA and one in each of the other counties and they’d be successful. Also, a lot of the 8 million people that don’t live in LA resent being called LA.

  7. This great news and a wise move by MLS. It definitely addresses one problem and may end up ‘killing two birds with one stone.’ First, it rids the league of utterly inept ownership. Rebranding and skilled management may yet make the second LA franchise a success. Second, there is the possibility that ownership outside of LA could by the team and rebrand and relocate,….for example Atlanta, St. Louis, San Antonio, Indiana.

    Wow! Credit to Don Garber and the other MLS investors,…willing to make the necessary decisions/moves to address problems (contraction in Florida, DPs, buying Chivas USA).

  8. Lost in all of this justified celebration is remembering that Vergara was the first or second “new owner” in MLS after contraction. He took a real chance on a struggling league and while it didn’t work the way anyone wanted, without his purchase, a lot of other owners may never have had the opportunity to get involved with MLS.

  9. Maybe Arte Moreno might be interested? He was talking to the City of Tustin the other day about a new stadium for the Angels at the Tustin Marine Corps Station. Lot of good reasons to think this might be a good spot for a team. Good location, good economy to support a team, good base of soccer being played. Many USMNT and USWNT players grew up and played club soccer in Orange County. Many current MLS players call Orange County their home. A good Latino population as well as a Persian, Chinese, Korean population to support the sport. It is a big enough population to not take away from the Galaxy and support a new team in area altogether. San Diego is only 50 some miles away (Oceanside). Plus with the toll road coming in from the Inland Empire right into Tustin/Irvine, you can draw support from there as well. Train station to bring fans from further out is also right next door. You can call the stadium “The Hanger” for the old Navy Blimp Hangers that still stand nearby.

  10. 1.Please move this team to another city like St. Louis or Atlanta
    LA already has an entrenched team.

    2. Whatever you do please don’t copy the LAMO trend
    Of FC this CLUB that or REAL anything when rebranding. It wasn’t a lamo trend at first but now it is.
    I actually would rather see Miami called the Miami Becks or Miami ya yo rather then FC Miami Miami United or Real Miami

    • NO NO NO

      LA can handle two teams. Heck, LA can handle three teams.

      A soccer club needs its own territory in LA. Chivas wasn’t successful for two reasons. One, the Chivas USA concept. And two, sharing a stadium and territory with a more popular team.

      If the new Chivas club moves to DTLA you will see a club that gets a lot of support.

      • I agree that LA can handle multiple teams. I noticed your comment below about USC & the Sports Arena, which is interesting – how long ago did this information come out?

  11. FC Angelinos. AC Angelinos. Solves all naming problems. Simple, direct city reference, cultural/Latin significance, everyone understands it, isn’t forced animal name or something like that, isn’t cheese like Hollywood FC. Would help if stadium were actually in LA (maybe they can play in Dodger stadium until that gets worked out) and more up to date than Galaxy’s Carson situation (which is one generation behind in terms of MLS venues).

    • no

      you don’t need to appeal to hispanics by having a hispanic sounding name. Most hispanics in LA speak English. Most are natives of LA.

      Los Angeles FC sounds good to me.

  12. Move them to Minnesota. That way you can still get Atlanta and San Antonio in the league without having to sacrifice one for the Minneapolis team.

  13. The team will stay in LA. Why? With MLS holding the cards they will sell to an ownership team that is committed to that market. Remember, no NFL team there. The “Don” knows they can slowly disrupt that market without any NFL competition. With a new TV contract on the way this looks better with a rebrand now, not later. No need for a Latin identity. With a good club, the Ultras will find a Spanish slang term that will stick and be branded by the club on t-shirts or patches. This is great news for the long term even if its bad news for the short term. Vamanos!

  14. While I’m a NYRB supporter, I’m also a fan of MLS in general and want to see it thrive. Having said that, the picture above says all you need to say to the casual soccer fans in the US: there’s a problem when you barely fill 5,000 seats on Saturday when the LA Galaxy fill 20,000 on Sunday. i’d be okay if they stayed in LA but moving to any other logical city makes sense as well.

  15. Not sure why MLS controlled announcement is being greeted with cheers. Its not an ideal situation. Would be better if they just folded operations and divided the sale proceeds between the owners.

    • Really? How much do you think they would have netted? After you fire all the coaches and disband the players you are left with a rented stadium and a failed brand. Almost no assets at all. A few desks and computers would have netted a few thousand dollars. My suspicion is that MLS makes its money back and more when they find a buyer.

    • Ummm… so who is folding the operations? What “sale proceeds”? Seriously, what would they be “sellling” if they are folding. What am I missing in your argument here?

      Regardless, it is not MLS decision to fold the club as long as Vergara owns it. And no matter how crappy it is or how much money they lose, they still have a very valuable asset in the franchise charter. MLS has made a decision to purchase it so they can get rid of Vergara. This will cost them a lot of money (LA times reports rumors of $70 million — I would suggest there is probably some upside sharing with Vergara if they can get to a target such as $100 million) As such, they would then need to sell the franchise for greater than whatever they are paying Vergara to go away to justify this. The new owner would then get (theoretically) a “new team” with existing infrastructure and contracts and considerably lower startup costs than an expansion franchise, and an opportunity to rebrand as they see fit. I think MLS should have no problem getting $70 million — prob a good slice more.

      This is basically the right move. Sure, it sucks Vergara will get a nice payout from the sale after the damage he has cause. But it’s hard to see MLS taking a loss here and most importantly they will be rid of a nasty albatross.

    • Ok what has been done by MLS to get this dude to fork over the team??..DC and NE are still the only original teams still playin inadequately sized stadiums for their fan base. At least DC wants and tries to move out RFK. which is why i dont like the Atlanta Falcons FC bid. Too Krafty.

  16. Finally! I have been expecting to come to this site for two years now expecting to see this announcement. It will be interesting to see what happens from here. You know Garber has something up his sleeve… MLS wouldn’t make this move if they didn’t.

    • Oops! one too many “expecting” in that second sentence. I guess it just shows I have really been expecting this news.

  17. I wish the league would force the Krafts to sell the Revs somebody that is interested in trying to be competitive. Having teams that are run on the cheap does not help MLS

    • +1

      American soccer stadiums need to be located in urban areas. What works for NFL does not necessarily work for MLS. It would be great to see a Boston stadium.

    • yeah, and it’s sad because Boston is such a sports town. I know plenty of people here who never cared about/payed attention to sports at all until living here.

      Revs are just not a part of the sports culture the way the Celtics, Sox, Bruins are (NFL is a different animal). I know they don’t have the same history as those teams, but I really feel like people here would give them a chance if the stadium were closer – especially T accessible. Right now they are closer to Providence, RI than to Boston.

  18. How do I get Vergara’s job?

    1. Buy MLS team for peanuts
    2. ignore team for ten years.
    3. Sell MLS team for almost $100 million.

    Well played sir. You’re an awful human being with, I must assume, an awfully nice house.

  19. You think a more universal and neutral branding like Deportivo LA might appeal to LA’s large Latin demographic? I’ve hears some folks say The Chivas name alienated a ton of fans from the start.

      • Fact is LA County is 50% Hispanic/Latino. “Latino branding” is not an absolute necessity (see LA Galaxy), but it won’t hurt and it won’t alienate anyone.

      • How about just steer from any kind of branding targeting any kind of ethnicity. It’s friggin LA!! There is an enormous mass of soccer consumers there. Does there necessarily have to be any kind of branding? Ethnic branding isn’t a pre-requisite to success. I just don’t understand that thinking.

        Build a team, build it right, and they will come. That’s it. Period.

      • I agree ethnic branding isn’t prerequisite for success. My point is that in a county comprised of 50% Hispanic residents, Latino branding “won’t hurt and won’t alienate anyone.” Remember, we’re talking 10 million people in LA county. That’s 5 million Hispanic/Latino gente.

      • Gringo here, and I think the throwback LA Aztecs would be really cool, including a version of the old logo/brand.

        It’s kind of ethnic, but in a historic place-based way that everyone can relate to. Kind of like how the Seattle Seahawks logo uses northwest Native American design elements – which is very popular.

      • It’s important but I think you’re overrating it. I’m not sure exactly Latino branding means but I think an inclusive identity will, by definition, include more people.

      • Agreed. The problem with ethnic / cultural branding is that it is automatically exclusive. As I pointed out in a post above, 165 years ago LA was part of Mexico. The Hispanic people that lived in California, Arizona, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas didn’t up and leave when the US won the war, they stayed and became Americans and have been so for generations. The border crossed them. As much as there is modern American mythology that the border has always been static, that simply isn’t true. Los Angeles and California themselves are of Hispanic (well, Spanish Conquistador) in origin. We are trying too hard if American things of Hispanic origin are not Hispanic enough.

      • Tapping into the Latin soccer market has been a gigantic problem for MLS. They watch Ron’s of soccer and almost no MLS. If not branding, then how does MLS lure in that demographic?

      • 50% is pretty inclusive, especially since there is another team already in town that seems to be attracting all of the caucasian demographic, but hasn’t seemed to have tapped into the vast latin market. It’s also a huge soccer loving market, which makes it even more valuable. I don’t think it would necessarily alienate anyone. Real Salt Lake doesn’t alienate anyone in Salt Lake City, does it?

      • The Gs have definitely tapped into the Hispanic market. Seems like half the fans are Latino. ACB is a bilingual supporter group.

    • How about focusing on having a good product? I am not Latino, but I assume that they would prefer a good product to a crap product with a Latino sounding name. Perhaps I am wrong, but my opinion is that you first provide a good product that attracts soccer fans and provides a real rival for LA while playing in their own stadium. Latinos have not yet proven that they can get behind an MLS team (that I am aware of) and focusing on a Latino audience is risky if a non-specific soccer audience is available. I would be interested in seeing data on the LA Latino populations interest in an LA Latino focused team. My experience (anecdotal as it may be) is that the Latino population still clings to point of origin soccer teams as opposed to local American teams. The Latinos that do support MLS teams don’t appear to be driven by Latino branding or players. In the end, I believe that MLS success will be driven by a quality product and not ethnicity.

  20. Wasn’t there news last week about copyright filings by Chivas group for “LA FC” and/or “LA SC” or something along those lines? Could it have been a possible new ownership group laying ground work for purchase & rebrand? Or Maybe Chivas will start new club in USL or NASL under new brand so they can conitnue with original mission of finding players for Mexico club?

    • I am guessing that trademark filing forced MLS’ hand, as they probably wanted completely new ownership for this club – and new owners would want to impose their own brand. I understand their logic. Buy the club, keep the same name until new owner signs on – rebrand only once.

      • I doubt it “forced” MLS’ hand. I suspect MLS was an active participant in CUSA getting these new names knowing full well they were about to take over the team and if there were any leaks before the deal was done they didn’t want to go fighting others for the names they planned to move to in a year.

  21. MLS could profit twice from this move. First, they recoup the money shelled out to Vergara by selling to an ownership group in another city. At worst, they break even, at best they make a modest profit. (How about Atlanta?)* Second, the new favorite for the 24th expansion slot becomes….Los Angeles. If they got $100 million for NY expansion, they could surely do it again in LA. An LA expansion fee would surely exceed whatever the valuation of the market in San Antonio, Minneapolois, etc. So if played shrewdly, they can make even more money.

    *–Or, another alternative: How about move the franchise to Orlando for the already-agreed upon expansion fee. Orlando no longer has to build a roster from scratch, and such a choice cuts the expansion draft in half, which may appeal to the existing clubs.

    • Moving to Orlando for the agreed upon expansion fee is a net loss for MLS. Accepting the current Chivas roster is a net loss for Orlando.

    • What Scott said.

      OC already has a club, a roster, and anything else we don’t already have we’re presently building for Opening Day 2015. We have neither need nor interest in pulling Chivas off the MLS Clearance Rack and schlepping it to Orlando.

      • “Because there is an existing Chivas team there that’s not selling and won’t rebrand and so this would have to be a 3rd LA team and another expansion team, etc.” The concept was being reported, not officially denied, the land is bought, the author’s speculations why it wouldn’t work are being bypassed by reality. Instead of it being an unlikely 3rd LA team and 20-whatever expansion side, it’s slotting into Chivas’ spot. Change of ownership and rebranding. Red Bull just did this.

  22. no one wants to support a folding team….attendace for the 2014 will be even lower…I question the timing, should have waited towards the middle or the end of the season?

    • It’s not folding. It’s very likely being sold to Arsenal’s owner and branded as LA Gunners or Arsenal LA something equally ridiculous.

    • They need to rebrand fast. I don’t see where fans will run to the support of a transitional Chivas team. This move might open people to the future possibilities who were upset by how Chivas went, but nothing about this would entice the casual fan back to the stadium just yet. You don’t go watch soccer because you no longer hate the owner. There needs to be a positive incentive, even if they have to name and then re-name the team later.

    • Normally you would be right but, seriously, I don’t think attendance could get any lower than last year where they gave away freebies and still got nobody to come.

    • The only way to get lower Chivas attendance would be to reduce the bench for both teams. Move it to the leading town for the next team after Atlanta.

  23. Personally, with the league taking over the team (and no buyer yet) I’m nervous. I hope they don’t pull a Houston, and actually keep their word and keep the team in LA. As Sonic Death Monkey points out it’s hard to take Garber at his word, since he’s been denying this for over a year. Any rumors on who these “several buyers” are?

    • They want local rivals….no reason LA, like NY can support 2 teams. Big city and huge TV market. They could move to SD….or SF….but really no need….look at how many clubs are in London. Chivas has been a mess for the league which has been pointed out multiple times….the whole “Mexico” approach never made sense since not every hispanic in LA is Mexican…and for the ones that are…they already have their club they support so making one so connected to a Mexican club never meant “Oh…well I am Pumas till I die….but Chivas USA is close enough since I live in LA”….they would have been MUCH better off trying for that market with a Spanish language name or the “Aztecas” or name it after some old Mexican history reference or military unit or anything other then Chivas. Heck “Las Cucaracha De Guerra” or “The Fighting Mariachis” pretty much anything hispanic or not 😉 LA has always been one of those cities the big name players talk about when they say they would love to come to MLS if they can play in NY or LA (odd Chicago or even Boston never count)…and maybe Miami will be another soon….but now that we have 2 good clubs for LA and NY it will be great to see how things end up.

      • This is one of those times though where MLS should let the market decide. There is also little reason to FORCE theteamformerlyknownasChivasUSA to stay in LA when they sell them. If they can succeed elsewhere and are wanted elsewhere then forcing them to stay in LA because the league thinks a big population alone is enough for 2 teams is MLS 1.0 thinking.

      • Let the market decide? Why should we consider capitalism in a business venture? All joking aside, the criteria for buying Chivas USA should be the same as starting a new team. Strong ownership group, soccer specific stadium, fan interest, etc. Simply stating that the LA market is too big not to have 2 teams ignores the fact that it has not supported 2 teams. LA will still have an cross state rival.

    • C’mon now… stop with this nonsense about Garber’s word. Why in the world would anyone expect a buyer to publicly state it is a priority to buy something he will then have to negotiate a purchase price on?

    • you know it is just possible that the don saw the light and changed his mind, isnt it. or is that not a possibility in don-hate land.

  24. thank god. that picture, well the background, is exactly why this should have happened earlier. good job MLS! can’t wait to see who ends up buying it. Forbes valued Chivas USA at $64M, so it’ll be interesting to hear what MLS paid and then what they sell it for.

    • more interesting to me is if they sell if for less than the going rate for an expansion team. Only thing I dont like about this is that it seems to be 100% staying in LA.

      • yeah, i’ll be curious to see the numbers. also, this team should absolutely stay in LA. MLS needs two LA teams, it’s just that simple. they should move to a completely different area of the city, but it’s a positive they are staying in LA. clearly whoever comes in as an ownership group is going to be spending money, which means 3 more DPs in a city that every European thinks they want to live in.

      • Indeed. The absence of disclosed terms leads me to believe there basically is no purchase price until the follow-on sale is completed. The $70 million quoted in the LA times is admitted as rumor and I’d bet this is simply a floor price to Vergara. I’m convinced that Vergara would’ve been happy to try his luck selling the team himself and seeing if he can’t pluck some of the burgeoning investor interest away from the startups. MLS might simply have convinced him that it was in their mutual interest to transfer ownership now so as to accelerate the cleansing of the Chivas brand (much like the new name applilcations) to maximize purchase price and minimize the legacy damage in the eyes of prospective investors. A profit-sharing arrangement above the $70 million “floor” keeps everybody aligned and gets Vergara into the background, if not entirely gone (yet).

      • I think the only way it worth less than an expansion team is if MLS stipulates where it must play (must stay in LA for X years) or doesn’t allow the next buyer to choose its own management / players right out of the gate. Those restrictions certainly would decrease its potential value, and if I am MLS right now, I don’t think having 2 teams in LA just because other leagues do and its size is really worth losing a bunch of money. If there is really a big demand for additional MLS teams in LA beyond Galaxy then there will be an economic reason to stay (or have another team move in to fill the void if Zombie-Chivas goes elsewhere).

    • I certainly hope the-team-formerly-known-as-Chivas stays in LA. There are tens of millions of people in Southern California: More than enough to support two WELL-RUN teams.

      • NC actually has a large hispanic population … with that said, the name is horrid (joke or no joke, one cringes).

      • Then again, Los Angeles was historically actually IN Mexico.

        The fact that California, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico and Texas were within the borders of Mexico up until 165 years ago were much of the reason for the large Hispanic populations in the West despite popular mis-informed modern opinion that Hispanics have all shown up in the last few years. In 1848 the border crossed the people.

      • Then again, the Mexicans stole California from the Native Americans. In the 1700’s the border – shaped like a cross – crossed those people too. You can’t have it both ways.

      • Actually, to be truly accurate, California was a claimed territory of Spain for quite a while… centuries. Mexico declared independence and included California as part of the new Mexican nation for barely a decade. That was immediately disputed by the Resident Rancheros in the Bear Flag revolt as they had no desire to be controlled by remote influences in far away Mexico City who had no interest in local issues… other than California’s abundant Gold, California declared their own independence Republic of California flying the same flag as today and then eventually elected to become a state of the US. The Chumash, Tangva and many other native peoples have plenty to gripe about though.

      • FOR SOCCERHORN – Mexico declared its indeppndance from Spain in 1810. Mexicans or Mexico did not exist in the 1700’s unless you consider aztecs maya or mejicas and if thats the case than it was native american taking from native american. Also the Spanish were settling the west and southwest in the 1600 and 1700’s.

      • Gonna have to pull out my standard reply of “You lost the war, get over it.” (Works on British, Southerners, Mexicans, German’s, German’s Again, italians, and Japanese. But if you are arguing with a Vietnamese person just change the subject real quick!)

      • RORY at least you have a lil history knowledge to know what wars USA has won. that other dude said Mexicans took the land from native americans in the 1700s. wtf?

      • The problem with having a large Hispanic population… Is that Hispanic does not mean Mexican. Hispanic is a general term for the entirety of Latin America. I highly doubt the large populations that have come from El Salvador and Costa Rica have any interest in Chivas. They could have marketed themselves and played a LatAm style without polarizing themselves with that brand name.

    • a) the team is staying in LA. b) please stop dribbling about st louis until an ownership group thats capable of supporting an MLS team in that city appears.

  25. 2 things….1. This is a major development for the league. So glad it has finally happened. 2. After over a year of The Don denying this was a possibility, its gonna be hard to ever take anything he says seriously again.

    • Hire Javier Aguirre as coach and call them the LA Aztecs. Keep them in central LA, and get 3 DPs. NYFC & LA Aztecs will quickly outdraw their respective city rivals

      • Idk about that, the Galaxy have a pretty big following whereas the Red Bulls have a large amount of fare weather fans.

      • The Red Bulls getting above average MLS attendance and higher local TV ratings–yep–than the Galaxy while being the only team without a trophy before last year is a sure sign of fair weather fans. And, yes, it’s spelled that way.

      • I’ll agree with you that RB attendance failure is overblown (unfortunately it seems like the people who don’t show up are the expensive sideline seats right across from the TV cameras so it always looks bad). In 2013 they were in the top half of the league behind Seattle, LA, Montreal, Portland, Vancouver, Houston and SKC. TV ratings of course is always population dependent (no way KC or Portland could compete – but if they were even close it would mean if 1% of NY’s population was watching, it would take 10% of those cities to watch to get the same rating).

        Attendance wise, if you remove the outliers (Seattle, Chivas) RBNY is in the top tier of the league who average around 20k.

      • You might need to move them to Central LA before you can “keep” them there. Carson is a suburb in the southern part of the county.

  26. Chivas being sold is the biggest MLS news in a while, including what is going on in Miami or Toronto’s rebuilding. The only way to get to MLS 3.0 is to grow out of MLS 2.0, and this is a HUGE step in that direction. Well done Garber and all involved. This league has a huge future!

    • I’d save the plaudits til they are out of the woods. For now I think MLS has chosen to make Chivas their problem and perhaps see what they can do to settle the lawsuit and revive LA2. I know MLS says they are looking to stay in LA, talking with ownership groups, and in a branding transition. It could be like the Dynamo (minus the move) where a successful franchise gets revived by a shakeup.

      But, it could also be like the Mutiny or Fusion (or some other pro examples), where the league takes hold of the team, maybe even moves it, or folds it entirely. If Chivas has poisoned the well for the time being, MLS is not going to goof around, accumulate debt, and let one bad apple spoil the bunch. This is LA2′s chance to stabilize. We’ll see if LA2 can go anywhere without the easy Mexican branding. It’s a smart move but not exactly time to celebrate yet.

      I mean, put yourself in the shoes of a Chivas fan right now. Off to FMF? Do I root for Galaxy? Do I root for a team without much identity? I see it as like 1836, they need to come up with a Dynamo quick, pay adidas to shred the new jerseys if need be. I don’t think a lame duck identity year is what a struggling franchise needs. They need a rallying point and quick.

      • I have a hard team believing it would fold entirely given the number of cities suddenly wanting MLS teams, at worst it is worth expansion money. Ultimately they need their own stadium and own identity and if that works in LA (or San Diego) then great, they keep a local “rivalry” going (to me it was never much of a real rivalry, but I am neither a Galaxy nor C-USA fan).

        Hardcore Chivas-USA fans are rare beasts. Yes, I do feel bad for them, but if I was a Chivas-USA fan I’d wait to see what happens. Are you a Chivas USA fan because you are a Chivas Guadalajara fan … or did you really like Chivas USA on their own free standing merit? If the later, can you really not like a re-branded version? If the former, I doubt you really ever cared about MLS anyway and it was just a peripheral connection to the club you loved … kind of like becoming a NYCFC fan because ManCity is your EPL team.

      • Great that they bought the team. Time for MLS to go 3.0.

        Move the team to downtown LA! Or Central LA or some where in the greater LA area! or movie it St. Louis or Atlanta!
        MLS1.0 was ethnic pandering and getting over the hill players. 2.0 was the DP era. 3.0 has to be make franchise part of the community and getting the local area around the stadiums going to the games. Putting stadiums downtown area where there may actually be a fan base that would go to the games. As well as buying young players as DP that are good enough to be starlets in Europe and keeping players in their prime.

      • At the time, that was true. Now, things have changed significantly and it would actually make sense, especially when you consider that the league expects to announce a new ownership group this year…

      • it was never true, not one little bit, and has been denied by just about everyone by now. the only reason its still even discussed is lazy people keep bringing it up

      • 15 days ago and the league purchase removes a lot of the “barriers” mentioned. There is a Red Bull history where you could take a team, rebrand it, and then when the new home is ready, move across town. Granted, any move is years away. It would take a long time to build a football stadium.

        But this would not even be close to the first time this year — and it’s just February — that a NFL owner is linked with a potential MLS team in an attempt to justify funding, approval, or whatever else they need to get the football stadium built.

        You can even argue that with a team in existence, lot purchased, and a current MLS owner attached, it would be further along than Beckham’s Miami PR concept.

        It may not happen but this was once a decent MLS team with decent attendance, in the biggest city and soccer town in the country, unless the fans are soured beyond recovery, it will provoke someone’s interest.

      • ^THIS^

        I see this transaction more in line with the RBNY reboot than the Mutiny/Fusion/MTL Expos folding or even the San Jose/Dynamo or Vancouver/Memphis Grizlies relocation.

        It will be a lot easier for Kroenke to buy and build LA2 AND get himself an NFL Stadium because he can approach LA County already having a team in need of a home while also making a move for an additional NFL team in need of a stadium. That is a much easier sale for public financing of said stadia if “Los Angeles Sporting Club” has multiple uses for said venue (Men’s Soccer/Women’s Soccer/NFL) already in the works.

        I could see this being a 60K stadium with a lower bowl of 25K and excellent sight lines for soccer. The reduced attendance will be great for MLS games and call for Premium pricing on NFL games. If I won the lottery, that’s where I would blow my money.

        Honestly, I think if LAG and LA2 can get going and growing I don’t see why LA can’t have LA3 and LA4 much like NY3 (Cosmos) and possible a NY4. Derby time would be great.

      • 60k for a football stadium. No way. You must have just woke up before you wrote your thoughts down. You should really say those things to yourself like 3 times before you post the next time. Really!

      • A new modern stadium, seating more than 60K is not that crazy. Why? Because of scarcity of demand. If the stadium is too big like how the Coliseum once had trouble filling all 93K seats except probably during the annual USC-UCLA games. The Rams generally didn’t sell out even with a reduced capacity of about 70K. When they moved to Anaheim, the generally didn’t sell out either. I have heard (never been to LA) that it was a really long trip out to Anaheim as long as 2 hrs for some fans so that explains a little. The Coliseum is in a bad neighborhood, much like the Orange Bowl in Miami. I don’t think the Raiders sold out either. They did force a renovation that lowered the playing field before deserting and heading back to Oakland.

        I think the 49ers new stadium is in the mid 60s. Lincoln Financial in Philly is too. Heinz Field is low 60s and I think so to are LP Field and Paul Brown Stadium. Better to have a park in the low to mid 60s with a long waiting list of potential season ticket holders than to have a park that seats 76-80K and rarely or never sells out.

      • Totally carried away at this point, for me. There is still ZERO documented or even hearsay/suggestion from the Kroenke group even w regard to the NFL stadium. Kroenke is a billionaire who made his bones investing in real estate. He has just purchased a large parcel of land in a part of LA that is undergoing significant transition and I would suggest that his purchase of the land was triggered far more by the Hollywood Park closure and forthcoming residential redevelopment than a long-term masterplan to become a the kingpin sports franchise owner in Los Angeles. I don’t doubt that he and he group are aware of the possibilities, but at this point it is probably one of many, many low-probability upside scenarios rather than a “base case”. Regardless of ESPN’s ability to graft conjecture onto minimal news events, I have seen no evidence thus far that suggests anything beyond simple explanation that this was simply an opportunistic real estate investment from a real estate guy with a free-standing and non-sports related investment thesis. But it isn’t impossible, to be sure. Just need more to go on right now.

        It would be interesting to know exactly what the terms of MLS acquisition of the franchise are. In a sense, it would seem that MLS is actually playing two rather incompatible strategies here. On one hand, the massive NYCFC franchise fee and the burgeouing arms race involving Miami FC and the upcoming expansion groups suggests MLS wants to benchmark the cost of entry as high as possible. However, by offering prospective investors an opportunity to buy an already existing team with a frachise charter and existing infrastructure under contract in a major market, it would seem to provide a potentially preferable alternative that would perhaps undermine the other motive.

        My guess is Vergara is keeping most of the upside from the follow-on sale… this is just another piece of window-dressing to santize the franchise and limit the legacy association to Chivas.

      • If it is true, wouldn’t it be a mistake to brand them the Gunners for the same reason it was to brand this team Chivas USA. I mean, I’m an Arsenal fan, and would love it if LA2 were the Gunners, but what about the Red Devils fan that lives next door.

        Perhaps that was why LA FC and SC were bought up. If it was by Vergara, then to sell back as part of the team, if by someone else, as part of the bid to buy the franchise. I am all for those names, btw.

      • NYCFC’s association with ManCity will hopefully be arms length (though it sounds like it won’t be given Jason Kreis’ statements about being able to take ManCity players on loan along with other access.

        I personally hate the idea of having any MLS team be a “farm team” in any way / shape / form to another club in a different league. Yes, done well it could work – but the reality is that most of the time this is a losing proposition. The quality of MLS has risen to the point where you can’t count on European or Mexican or South American “developmental” players to carry a team to success.

        I live in a city (Portland, OR) which has had 5 (now 6 if you count the new team in the suburbs which started up last year) minor league baseball teams who have come and gone in my lifetime. It is difficult even for the fairly invested fan to stay interested in a long season where the best players are only there for short rehab stints of a couple weeks, the next layer is just an injury away from being called up to the senior club for a long period of time if not the whole season. The midlings usually don’t last more than a year or two, and the ones on the bottom may get sent down / don’t play. As a fan you want some continuity, not constant turmoil.

        If MLS wants to continue to capture American fans it needs free standing clubs with no dependence on clubs elsewhere where they can be perceived as a farm system. If Chivas or Arsenal or whomever really want to have their players in MLS, then they need to loan them just like any other club anywhere else.

      • I just hope that there’s no team slated to come into the league soon that doesn’t have a stadium, has a farm team identity to market a foreign team, didn’t have a fan movement behind it, and is the 2nd team in the city’s metro area.

      • Any future team might not even keep those names. They might simply be DBA’s so that employees can still get checks, so that tickets for 2014 can be sold (not counting previously sold season and individual game sales prior to the sale) and mailed to the ticket holders, to honor legal agreements and business licenses, and to disassociate with the disaster that was Chivas USA. A new owner, especially a billionaire, will have a say about the name, you can guarantee it.

      • Just stop. This is a non-issue for multiple reasons:

        1) MLS is not in any, way, shape or form wanting to have current MLS owners run multiple teams. That’s why there was pressure from MLS on the Hunt’s to sell one of their clubs which ultimately was Columbus.

        2) As a Rapids STH, Kroenke doesn’t give too flying f**** about his current MLS club.

        3) The purchased land has more to do with positioning his St. Louis Rams to return to LA.

      • And what if he wants to sell the financing of a new stadium to the public buy having a multi use venue that included Men’s Pro soccer and the NFL.

      • LA is not going to publicly finance a stadium for him when AEG was willing to build one for free. Doesn’t matter how many sports can be played there.

      • Why would they pay when they can get one for free? AEG was going to build LA an NFL stadium for free.

        Besides, the land Kroenke bought isn’t even in the city of Los Angeles. It’s in the city of Inglewood (population 109,673). Inglewood can’t afford it. And why would LA pay to build a stadium in Inglewood when AEG will build them one in their actual downtown for free?

      • There is one big problem with this idea. The land he bought is 15 minutes from the StubHub Center. 15 minutes! Anyone who thinks building a new SSS that close to the existing one is a good idea, is a fool. Now if he had actually bought land in downtown LA as the article mistakenly stated, that would be another matter. What really is happening is just a ploy for his NFL team so he can get the upgrades he wants or a new stadium in St. Louis.

      • Agreed. He is just the latest to threaten to leave if he didn’t get a new stadium (see the Colts).

        But when he sells all his Denver teams (NFL rules say he must by 2015) I think he will sell the Rapids then finance an expansion team to St. Louis.

      • The Hunt rule excludes soccer teams from the NFL’s competing market rules – a rule on the books dating back to his huge involvement in the original NASL, clout in the NFL, and an unwillingness to compromise on one of his favorite sports. So the only team that’s an issue is the Avalanche. The Rapids can stay under his wing forever. Not sure what their fans think of that tho…

      • I thought he had already passed ‘ownership’ of his Denver teams onto family members namely his son Josh? To the best of my knowledge Stan no longer ‘owns’ the Rapids. Nuggets, and Avs and the NFL was satisfied that and is not forcing a sale of those teams. He did make his money in the real estate business and simply could have purchased that land to build a mall or some other business. I think people are grasping at straws with this for multiple reasons, mostly because the British media doesn’t get the rules of ownership for the NFL. Also, the NFL is highly unlikely to allow the Rams to move back to LA like many believe could happen. The NFL ‘owns’ the LA market and has previously stated that they won’t allow a team to move to it.

      • It’s a good question that I don’t have a definitive answer to — as I’ve only seen news on the Avs and Nugs moving over… to “Colorado Avalanche LLC” and Josh Kroenke respectively. But the Hunt rule is the real deal, thanks to the NASL winning an anti-trust lawsuit against the NFL. Joe Robbie skirted the rules by making his wife the owner of the Ft Lauderdale Strikers… but Lamar Hunt went head on against the other owners. I think only the MLS would be who stands in the way if he wanted an LA MLS team if he still owns the Rapids. I don’t know anything about that possibility — but I do see that being an issue with how they’ve stressed diversifying ownership.

      • I wouldn’t say Kraft is a bad owner. I would say that he is an uninvolved owner. After four losses in MLS Cup, each agonizing in their own way, I think he has simply become an absentee owner. The team used to develop some talent, Dempsey, Twellman and until he got hurt, Noonan, Parkhurst, and even managed to turn a terrible player into a serviceable one in Jeff Laurentawicz (sp?). The Revs were awful since 2009, but the future looks bright with all the young talent on the club.

        You also have to understand how slow things move in Boston when it comes to stadiums. The city couldn’t decide in the 60’s so the Pats built one in Foxboro. Then there was talk of a downtown stadium until the Krafts were quashed by Southie tribalism. That was when Kraft made the bargaining chip agreement with Hartford which led to Gillette Stadium being built. It took more than 20 years to replace the Boston Garden. Don’t even get me started on Fenway. So, the Krafts have reason to proceed slowly, having learned their lesson in the South Boston debacle. The other problem being there just aren’t enough plots of lands (especially public land) in the greater Boston area and those that are are not always desirable.

        I do believe that eventually Suffolk Downs will have soccer specific stadium. I think a mall project is already in the works there. I also think the Cosmos have a similar plan for Roosevelt Raceway out on Long Island, so that is a possibility. I don’t go to a lot of Revs games because of the distance and the stupid times they have the games. Night games in NE except during the summer are generally a bad idea. Any new stadium will be closer for me and I also will be able to ride public transportation to the matches. One incredible thing about Boston is when you are riding the T to the Garden or Fenway and you see all the people wearing Celtics gear, or Bruins gear, or Red Sox gear, it really feels to me much like it might feel for Gunners fans on the way to Emirates or Chelsea fans en route to Stanford Bridge.

    • Good point MLS has to go to the next level and put stadiums that are gonna be uniquely designed for each franchise and place them in places where they will be sold out.

      They also need to start investing in DPs that are good enough to be starlets in Europe. Not meaning the Neymars they are a lot of young players that MLS can poach from Europe and sign them before Europe and maybe sell then to Euro clubs later

      • There’s still two weeks before the season starts. I think Garber should cut ties w/Chivas Guadalajara immediately but not offend the team’s orientation towards Mexican fans. You also dont want to make the change that dramatic or else it could attract stories that there was bitterness/war with Vergara. So I say change them to LA Goats, and give them home jerseys that involve red, white and green but without the red and white stripes combination of chivas guadalajara. The reason for using red,white, and green is defray criticism from mexican fans that the team is being anglicised with the English name. Fans of Chivas organization who go to Chivas USA games should not feel too slighted as there will still be that goat mascot and cheerleaders. Its the colors that would change, but htere would still be a mexican feel at the games.

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