A truly turbulent chapter in Major League Soccer is nearing a merciful conclusion as Major League Soccer has announced the purchase of Chivas USA from Jorge Vergara and Angelica Fuentes.
It’s. About. Time.
There will be much, much more to say about this in the coming days and weeks. And, who knows, maybe even the coming months or years – unless Stan Kroenke acts quickly! For now, here are the quick hits of what we know, with a few reactions:
- MLS will assume clubs operations, which is nothing new for the league. It has run a team in some time, but going way back the league ran several clubs. Nothing changes for the 2014 season, competition-wise.
- Today’s MLS release says recently named coach Wilmer Cabrera will retain his position, soon to report to an unnamed club president.
- Rejoicing is high among MLS devotees (and writers like myself), who have long lamented how Chivas dragged down league attendance, league quality and had been – if we’re being honest – reduced to something of a league punch line.
- Don’t forget, MLS commissioner Don Garber recently told SI.com’s Brian Straus the Chivas mess was the biggest setback of his time in charge.
- Garber held a media teleconference call at 5 p.m. on Thursday, discussing the announcement and the Chivas USA situation.
- In the end, this might be the bigger shoe to fall. From today’s press release: “In the coming months, the league will resell the club to a new ownership group that will be committed to building a new stadium and keeping the team in Los Angeles. The league has had initial discussions with a number of very qualified potential owners and intends to finalize an agreement with a new group sometime this year.”
- Feel free to connect the dots on that statement to recent news of Kroenke’s recent purchase of land in Los Angeles and reports from abroad of a new club in the works that would be named the L.A. Gunners. Kroenke, of course, is a shareholder with the big Gunners, the ones who play in North London, in addition to owner of the Colorado Rapids. But in his conference call, Garber later quashed any hopes of an L.A. Gunners franchise starting up. Read more, here.
- Maybe more light bulbs should have gone up with inklings from a few days ago that a Chivas USA rebrand was in the works. Apparently, trademarks had been filed on Los Angeles SC and Los Angeles F.C.
- Finally! Writers like myself can stop going on and on about the sorry state of this thing, truly an outright league embarrassment. We’ve been banging the drum on this one for years. Like here.
Look for more on this later at ProSoccerTalk.