Chivas USA heading for rebrand? Trademarks reportedly filed, new logos leaked

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With less than a month to go until the start of the 2014 Major League Soccer season, it seems as though one team is about to undergo a huge facelift.

Is this finally the end of Chivas USA as we know it?

Reports leaking from The Goat Parade suggest that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office have received two trademark applications from “Chivas Guadalajara Licensing LLC” as Chivas look to rebrand their MLS franchise as either “Los Angeles F.C.” or “Los Angeles SC.”

According to public database records from the USPTO, Chivas USA applied for separate trademarks on January 17, 2014.

With the report also linking out to mock ups of the suggested new badges for both clubs, it seems as though the Chivas brand are finally admitting defeat in trying to spread their name in the marketplace in LA and California. For many years Chivas have had the lowest attendance in MLS and have struggled on and off the field, as well as with the clubs wider identity as parent club Chivas Guadalajara have always been lurking in the background.

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This snazzy design includes a bear, lion, tower and star. What do you think?

However with this fresh approach and the owners seemingly looking to cement the club’s roots in LA, something which has long been debated as many thought Chivas would be relocated elsewhere in the U.S. as they continue to underwhelm, this plan to rebrand seems like the team will remain in Southern California for the foreseeable future.

Both new logos have the same color scheme of gold, red and black, as on the left is the LA SC badge which consists of a shield split into four quadrants.

A gold star, tower, lion and bear are included here, as the resembles the lions on the Chivas USA crest and the bear is similar to the one seen on the state flag of California. While on the right you can see the proposed logo for Los Angeles F.C. which is much more, well, simple.

Many will be hoping this rebranding breathes new life into the Chivas USA franchise, which has been stagnate, confused and rudderless in recent seasons. The loyal Chivas fans in LA deserve a club to be proud of, and it seems like these changes could go a long way to helping the club succeed on and off the pitch in the future.

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A black eagle above a red lion and black bear in front of a red tower. What LA F.C. logo would look like.

But after the recent unrest about the clubs performances, Chivas have finished bottom of the Western conference in three of the last four seasons, and the whole ‘El Chelis’ experiment going horribly wrong last season, things have been at an all-time low for Chivas USA in recent months.

However with Carlos Bocanegra on board, Erick ‘Cubo’ Torres on loan from Guadalajara and some nice offseason pick ups from new head coach Wilmer Cabrera, a renewed sense of optimism is in the air ahead of the 2014 MLS season. The timing of this announcement could perhaps not be better, as Chivas owner Jorge Vergara aims to finally sort things out and get the club moving forward again.

This new image could considerably alter Chivas USA’s future, for the better.

Report: Arsenal interested in Leicester keeper Kasper Schmeichel

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According to a report by The Sun, Arsenal is monitoring the progress of Leicester City goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel.

The rumor does make sense. With Petr Cech at 34 years old and having a poor season in front of net and backup David Ospina failing to challenge him for the starting job, the Gunners are looking elsewhere to bring in a potential future starter.

Schmeichel has been one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League the past two seasons. Last season he led the Foxes to the Premier League title, organizing a stunningly good defensive line of patchwork players. This season, the defense has largely regressed and let Schmeichel down, but he has still performed well and has the metrics to remain one of the league’s top shot-stoppers.

The Danish keeper is 30 years old himself, but that puts him in his prime for a goalkeeper. He has been with Leicester City since 2011, and he will tick 250 appearances for the club with his next match. Schmeichel was rumored to be a member of the secret player delegation that worked hard to see Claudio Ranieri pushed out of the club, a sentiment which he and the other players have strongly denied.

Still, with an improbable Premier League title in hand and an appearance in the Champions League quarterfinals now on the cards, there probably isn’t much else for him at Leicester City. It’s possible Schmeichel could look to bank on his past performances and secure a move to a bigger club this summer.

Should Arsene Wenger stay with Arsenal past this season, a possibility that looks more and more likely, he could look to move on from Cech despite signing the former Chelsea goalkeeper just two summers ago.

Diego Costa injured, but will stay with Spain squad for friendly

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Chelsea striker Diego Costa pulled up in Spain training on Sunday, and with the Blues in first in the Premier League and Costa in great form, there were obvious concerns.

With Costa struggling with leg and ankle injuries, the RFEF informed Chelsea that there was an issue, and Costa was pulled from training and sent for tests. X-Rays at the local hospital in Madrid were negative, and he’s rejoined the squad.

According to the RFEF, doctors will continue to monitor the 28-year-old and he will continue with the national team for the rest of the international break. With a World Cup qualification win over Israel already in the books and just a friendly against France to go on Tuesday, it’s odd that Spain would risk Costa moving forward, but they will continue to keep him around.

Costa has scored 18 goals this season to lead the Blues, and he scored in the win over Israel. Spain takes on France in Saint-Denis on Tuesday, with both teams leading their World Cup qualification groups. Spain has a goal-differential lead on Italy with both teams miles above the rest of the Group G, and France is ahead of Sweden by three points in Group A, with the Netherlands back in fourth.

Foul or flop? Player “headbutts” referee, is sent off

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Well, there must be something in the water down in Brasilia, because things got a little weird this evening.

Flamengo drew with Vasco da Gama 2-2, but that was just the start.

In the 54th minute, with Vasco da Gama leading 1-0 at Estadio Nacional Mané Garrincha, 36-year-old Luis Fabiano was sent off for “headbutting” the referee. Headbutting is in quotes because looking at the video, it certainly appears there was little to no contact, and the referee flops.

Yes, the referee flopped. Take a look:

To be fair, Fabiano was already on a yellow, so getting in the referee’s face even without the headbutt/pelvic thrust would likely still have seen him sent to an early shower.

So the former Porto and Sevilla man was sent off, and Vasco da Gama was down to 10 men. Immediately after the red card, Flamengo took advantage, powering in a pair of goals via Willian Arao and Orlando Berrio to take the lead 2-1. But Vasco wouldn’t quit, and they earned a penalty five minutes into stoppage time, which Nene buried for the 2-2 draw.

To top things off, a player named Yago Pikachu scored the opener for Vasco da Gama, which was followed by a delay in the game seven minutes later after a power surge in the stadium. Go figure.

Lletget diagnosed with foot sprain, escaping further damage

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Word has arrived from the LA Galaxy camp that will see USMNT fans feel relieved as Sebastian Lletget has escaped the news many feared.

The young attacker was impressive in the first 18 minutes of the United States’ 6-0 win over Honduras, but was injured minutes after scoring the opening goal and could not continue. Replays showed that Lletget got his foot caught underneath a defender in the process of a hard challenge on the right wing.

There was concern that Lletget would be out for a significant amount of time, but the Galaxy announced that after testing over the weekend, Lletget did not suffer any structural damage and was diagnosed with a left foot sprain.

[ MORE: USMNT adds Paul Arreola to roster, drops Lletget, Brooks, Morris ]

Lletget will visit a specialist on Monday to determine a plan for recovery, and it’s possible that he will still have to miss some time in the near future. The Galaxy visit Vancouver on Saturday, and his status for that match has to be considered up in the air. They then host Montreal on April 7.

While Lletget obviously misses out on the next USMNT game at Panama on Tuesday having already been dumped from the roster, he will most definitely be available for the June games against Trinidad & Tobago and Mexico, and will likely be an option for Bruce Arena given the manager’s history with Lletget at Los Angeles.

The United States have been struck with a collection of injuries that all occurred just before the international break, hampering the squad significantly. Bobby Wood, Jordan Morris, and Fabian Johnson all went down in the days before reporting for international duty, and the team lost Lletget and John Brooks in the Honduras win. Lletget’s departure could see Alejandro Bedoya into the starting lineup on Tuesday, with the Union midfielder having replaced Lletget in the Honduras match. Also in contention is Jermaine Jones, who could come in after his suspension and push Darlington Nagbe onto the wing.