According to ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle, Chivas USA will cease operations in Major League Soccer for at least two years as condition of the imminent sale of the club.
Carlisle’s report states a buyer has been found who will pay approximately $100 million for the club, and the break from MLS play is part of the terms of the sale.
A rebrand of the club is certainly possible, and the report states part of the hiatus will be to find a location for a new stadium.
Sports Illustrated’s Brian Straus first brought up the possibility of a break for Chivas in the beginning of September, and it seems that has come to fruition.
The club has long operated in the shadow of cross-town rivals Los Angeles Galaxy, and have failed to perform both on the pitch and at the box office, missing the playoffs for now five straight seasons.
Straus’s report stated the club’s sale will net more than the price of New York City FC’s entrance to Major League Soccer, which was a league record. It also stated the investor group ready to pony up the money has “a Los Angeles component” meaning the club would likely remain in the city.
The SI report set a date of October 6th for a likely sale announcement by Major League Soccer, and Carlisle did not address that date but did receive this statement from the office of Don Garber.
“We have met with multiple potential ownership groups during the last few months and expect to finalize a sale for Chivas USA by the end of the season,” Commissioner Garber’s statement said. “Once we have confirmed a new ownership group, we will discuss the future of the club with the MLS Board of Governors, including whether or not we are going to operate the team in 2015 and beyond.”
Major League Soccer purchased the club in February to serve as a middle-man while they found a long-term buyer.
The hiatus for Chivas means MLS will only play with 20 teams next season. It’s probably a good idea, considering after this season the club would have just four months to completely rebrand and leave the troubled history completely in the past.