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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.

Klopp hopes for speedy solution in club, fans’ ticket-price dispute

Liverpool's fans wave flags during the English League Cup semifinal second leg soccer match between Liverpool and Stoke City at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, England, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
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From his time at Borussia Dortmund, Jurgen Klopp is used to a much more positive, family-like, everyone-pulling-in-the-same-direction atmosphere at his club of employment, so the present goings-on at Liverpool understandably have the Reds’ first-year manager feeling more than a little uneasy.

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Saturday’s late 2-2 draw with Sunderland wasn’t the first time Liverpool fans have headed for the exit before the final whistle, leaving Klopp feeling all alone, but it was the first time the fans have departed from Anfield early in a pre-planned, organized manner (Klopp missed the game himself with appendicitis). The Anfield faithful didn’t walk out on 77 minutes due to their team’s poor performance — Liverpool were 2-0 ahead at the time — but in protest of steadily rising ticket prices, which were unveiled at $111 per game to sit in the 132-year-old stadium’s new main stand next season.

Klopp, coming from the Bundesliga, where a season ticket at clubs the size of Bayern Munich and Dortmund doesn’t cost much more than a single-game ticket at many Premier League grounds, understands the fans’ frustration. At the end of the day, though, he works for the club, which is why he just wants the whole thing settled quickly, for the sake of his squad — quotes from the BBC:

“It’s not what we want. What I know is everyone in the club has a big interest in finding a solution for this. We don’t want people to leave the stadium before the game is finished.”

An LFC TV appearance by Liverpool chief executive Ian Ayre, in which he was expected to answer fan-submitted questions, was consequently canceled on Monday due to the ongoing dispute.

West Ham want Payet to sign new contract for fear of losing him this summer

Dimitri Payet, West Ham United FC (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
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Dimitri Payet is going to be a red-hot commodity during this summer’s transfer window, there’s no doubt about it.

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Given he’s currently contracted to one of the Premier League’s “smaller” clubs — in comparison to some of the giants which are bound to be interested — West Ham United, there’s a decent-to-good chance he could be wearing a different club’s shirt come August. Especially if the 28-year-old attacker shows up and shows out at this summer’s European Championship in his native France.

If I can foresee the interest in Payet, then so too can the executives at West Ham, which is why manager Slaven Bilic took to the press on Monday to convey his desire for Payet to consider signing a new, increased contract at his earliest convenience — quotes from the Guardian:

“We are moving, the club is moving, with the new stadium, with the revenue and everything. We have to move and the most important move is to keep your best players and to add some new players who are needed and Dimitri Payet is our best player — I have no problem whatsoever to say that. Of course, I would love to have him happy, long term, at the club.”

Of course West Ham want Payet to sign a new deal immediately — doing so would accomplish two things in the club’s eyes: 1) increase the likelihood he remains at the club next season, or 2) insure the club receives a higher transfer fee for the player if he leaves in the summer anyway. The more total money remaining on his West Ham contract, the more they can demand of a prospective buyer.

[ MORE: Ronaldo commits himself to Real Madrid through 2018 ]

From Payet’s side — unless he has absolutely zero desire to move to a club like Liverpool, Chelsea or Manchester United, where he’d likely be paid close to $200,000 per week — he’d be crazy to sign a new contract at this point. Not only would it make a move this summer more difficult, but a strong showing at EURO 2016 could be worth another $15,000 or $20,000 per week on a new contract with West Ham (his current contract is rumored to be close to $100,000 per week).

With as many as five seasons still remaining on his current contract (a one-year club option can be exercised at any point), and his stock perhaps at an all-time high, the next six months could hold Payet’s last chance to get really, really paid before he hits the downside of his career.

USWNT players’ union responds in USSF lawsuit

FILE - In this Sunday, July 5, 2015 file photo, the United States Women's National Team celebrates with the trophy after they beat Japan 5-2 in the FIFA Women's World Cup soccer championship in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The U.S. Soccer Federation’s original lawsuit against the union for its champion women’s national team has been sealed after the governing body realized it had disclosed the home addresses and email accounts of many players, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016.(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
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(AP) — The union that represents the Women’s World Cup-winning American national team opposed an expedited schedule in the lawsuit filed against it by the U.S. Soccer Federation last week, insisting no collective bargaining agreement exists.

The federation sued in an attempt to establish it has a contract with the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team Players Association that runs through this year’s Olympics until Dec. 31. The union maintains the memorandum of understanding agreed to in March 2013 can be terminated at any time.

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The USSF filed a motion Friday in U.S. District Court in Chicago asking for an expedited schedule, and the submitted opposition papers Monday that claim “facts asserted in the motion are nowhere near accurate and are hotly disputed.”

The union also maintains the USSF knew about the disagreement since July but did nothing about it.

An initial status conference is set for April 4.

Lionel Messi to undergo tests for lingering kidney problems

FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi holds the ball during a quarterfinal, second leg, Copa del Rey soccer match against Athletic Bilbao at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
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BARCELONA, Spain (AP) Barcelona says Lionel Messi is to undergo medical tests to assess a recurrence of kidney problems.

[ MORE: Saturday’s La Liga roundup | Barca win on Sunday

Messi missed the Club World Cup semifinal in December due to a renal colic, an abdominal ailment often related to the presence of kidney stones within renal ducts.

Barcelona says in a statement Monday that the tests to be conducted by Tuesday at the latest, are “to assess the evolution of the kidney problem he suffered last December.”

[ MORE: Champions League returns next week — KO round matchups ]

The statement says Messi will resume training with the squad on Wednesday, when Barcelona travels to Valencia for the return leg of the Copa del Rey semifinals in which it carries a 7-0 lead.