LOS ANGELES — After eight months of speculation on the future of Chivas USA, MLS executives pulled the plug, after a decade of adversity.
Effective immediately, Chivas USA will cease all football operations and will be replaced by a club that will begin play in the league in 2017, The MLS announced on Monday.
Venture capitalist Henry Nguyen, Mandalay Entertainment Chairman and CEO Peter Guber, former NBA executive and current ESPN analyst Tom Penn, and current Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan — will be officially introduced on Thursday.
That announcement will also shed light on the group’s plans to build a soccer stadium in the Los Angeles area.
“As part of our new strategy for Southern California — a major hotbed of soccer participation and fan support — we believe that engaging with a new ownership group which has the resources and local community ties, and a plan for a dedicated soccer-specific stadium, provides us with the best chance for success,” MLS commissioner Don Garber said in a statement after shutting down the Chivas Project.
This of course is the final blow in the Chivas Project, which began in 2003 when Club Deportivo Guadalajara owner Jorge Vergara announced plans to spread the Chivas brand to the United States while attending the 2003 MLS All Star Game at the Home Depot Center, which would eventually become the home of Chivas USA.
The project was originally to be used as a tool for development for Chivas players in and around CD Guadalajara.
This of course, would later lead to allegations of harassment and racial misconduct on Vergara leading to a lawsuit that was filed against Jorge Vergara by dismissed non-Latino youth coaches Dan Calichman and Ted Chronopoulos.
Shortly after the acquisition Vergara was alleged to have told his staff that those who did not speak Spanish would be fired, with Jose David, the team’s new president and chief business officer, asking Chronopoulos for a list of youth players and coaches who were Mexican or Mexican-American and of those that weren’t.
Later in 2014, Vergara would appear on a radio interview with Jorge Ramos y Su Banda saying: “The Chivas USA concept did not work out,”
On February 20th, Vergara would sell Chivas USA to MLS. Shortly after that, MLS said that they would sell Chivas USA to a prospective buyer that was interested in keeping the club in LA.
So here we are today. The club has been sold, operations have seized, and it’s official, the Chivas brand has officially died in the United States for good.
Despite the poor taste left in many Chivas supporters mouths, we can always ponder on the solid performance of the 2007 Chivas team that were regular-season Western Conference champions that qualified for the CONCACAF Champions League under the leadership of manager Predrag “Preki” Radosavljevic.
Now it’s time to enjoy the MLS Cup Playoffs and look forward to what this new “LA Soccer Project” will bring to the table for the growing North American League.