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.

Yaya Toure talks future, wants to play with Paul Pogba

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There is very little debate: Yaya Toure is his own special case.

The longtime Manchester City midfielder does what he wants, flies his own flag, has the worst agent in the game, and is pleased or dismayed in unusual ways.

[ UCL: What would Real 3-peat mean? ]

Toure, 35, has been linked with a move to NYCFC now that he’s leaving Man City, but the Ivorian still wants to play two more seasons for a Champions League or Europa League club.

And he wants to get together with Paul Pogba. You can see where this is going… (from The Manchester Evening News):

“Pogba is the same size, power – but different in the way he wants to go. Technically as well, the ability to score goals as well. It is a player I want to play with, to be honest, just to teach him some things.”

That must mean both are going to Paris Saint-Germain because… Yaya at Manchester United? No way, right? Right? Even with last year’s reports from his — again — terrible agent that it was an option, that still seems too villainous.

“I don’t rule big teams out. The big teams are very important for me. What they want to achieve, the way they want to go, for me is very important. … I want to go somewhere I can win and achieve. It’s going to be hard one day to play against City, but I have to do that. It is part of my job.”

Toure later said he was “no good in an office,” which had us thinking, well, what if they properly celebrated your birthday, Yaya?

WATCH: Miami United midfield unleashes Open Cup laser

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Tomas Granitto, have yourself an extra plate at the postgame buffet.

The Miami United midfielder scored a gorgeous goal in Wednesday’s 2-0 win over fellow NPSL side Jacksonville Armada in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup’s third round.

[ MORE: 3 Key Battles for UCL Final ]

Complete with aesthetically-pleasing post-ping, the former El Salvador U-20 player laid into a 25-yard shot to open the scoring in Florida.

Granitto, 24, has played for Timbers 2, Swope Park Rangers, FC Edmonton, since leaving NCAA side Florida Gulf Coast.

Rondon wanted by Atleti, Inter Milan, and West Ham

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The big boys are looking to Salomon Rondon as a bargain striker.

Yes, $22 million is a bargain in the striker market these days.

[ MORE: Napoli hires Ancelotti ]

West Brom’s Venezuelan international, 28, stands 6’2″ and has a relegation release clause that is reportedly interesting Inter Milan, Atletico Madrid, and West Ham United.

Atleti and Inter are in the Champions League next season, but Rondon played for new West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini at Malaga, posting 25 league goals in two seasons.

He’s scored 24 goals in three Premier League seasons at West Brom, almost a quarter of the 104 produced by the Baggies.

He also picked up three assists this season as the target man for Tony Pulis, Alan Pardew, and Darren Moore (and was fouled more often than any other Baggie (Baggy?)).

Rondon and Marko Arnautovic next to each other would be a real handful for PL defenses. Then again, maybe he’ll stay loyal to West Brom and set the Championship scoring record next season.

Three German organizers of 2006 World Cup indicted for tax evasion

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FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) Three German organizers of the 2006 World Cup have been charged with tax evasion linked to a payment to FIFA.

German news agency dpa reported that Theo Zwanziger, Wolfgang Niersbach and Horst R. Schmidt confirmed Wednesday they are indicted by Frankfurt prosecutors in a long-running investigation.

[ MORE: 3 Key Battles for UCL Final ]

They are accused of falsifying tax returns on behalf of the Germany soccer federation (DFB) in 2006. The DFB has already paid 19.2 million euros ($22.4 million) in back taxes. All three deny the charges, which were first reported by German daily Bild

The allegations are also being investigated by Swiss federal prosecutors and FIFA’s ethics committee. They have targeted German soccer great Franz Beckenbauer, who led the 2006 tournament organizing committee.

Beckenbauer, Zwanziger and Niersbach were members of FIFA’s executive committee in turn from 2007 through 2016.

In 2016, the DFB published an inquiry report into a complex payments trail including 6.7 million euros ($7.8 million) to FIFA in April 2005. Zwanziger and the DFB claimed the money was for a World Cup opening gala and therefore tax-deductible.

However, the payment went through FIFA and ended in a Swiss account belonging to former Adidas chief Robert Louis-Dreyfus, who died in 2009.

The inquiry report did not rule out, but could not prove, that votes were bought when Germany beat a Nelson Mandela-supported South Africa bid for the hosting rights in a 12-11 vote of FIFA executive committee members in 2000.

Swiss prosecutors said in 2016 they had opened a criminal proceeding against the four German officials the previous year, on suspicion of fraud, money laundering, criminal mismanagement and misappropriation. That case spun off from a wider Swiss investigation of suspected corruption linked to FIFA and World Cup hosting votes that is ongoing.

Niersbach lost his seat on FIFA’s ruling committee when he was banned for one year for failing to disclose possible unethical conduct.

The various investigations have tarnished the reputation of the 2006 World Cup that was a popular success in the host nation, which called it the “Summer Fairytale.”