Tuesday’s Chivas USA & Galaxy Update

Hunting Chivas USA Fans

As expected, Chivas USA announced Tuesday that former Anschutz Entertainment Group executive Shawn Hunter will become the new CEO and president of the franchise that has turned around its fortunes on the field, but has yet to match that success at the gate. Can a gringo succeed where his Latino predecessor — Javier Leon — could not?

From the Chivas USA press release:

Hunter joins Chivas USA from AEG, one of the worlds leading sports and entertainment presenters, where for five years he held the dual titles of Chief Marketing Officer and President, AEG Sports. In the latter role, Hunter oversaw AEGs marquee sports events and eleven sports teams worldwide, as well as the companys marketing partnership with Chivas USA.

‘Words cant describe how excited I am about this newest challenge in my career, Hunter said. Since I first began working with Chivas USA on behalf of AEG three years ago, I have been captivated by the passion of this organization and the intense devotion of both its fans and players. I know that Chivas USA has only begun to realize its tremendous potential and though I know it will be a process I look forward to helping take this club to the next level. I cant wait to get to work.’

Hunter, 44, brings to Chivas USA not only his vast experience in managing sports and entertainment properties, but also a proven track record in successfully launching fledgling sports organizations.

Prior to joining AEG, Hunter was for six years the President of the NHLs Phoenix Coyotes. Under his leadership, in the Coyotes’ first four seasons, the club played to a 94-percent capacity (including 69 sellouts) and transformed Phoenix into a hockey hotbed. Hunter developed and launched the popular Coyotes logo and uniform, secured strategic television and radio broadcast partnerships for the team and created cutting edge marketing and ticketing campaigns, laying the groundwork to position the Coyotes as a premier sports franchise in Arizona.

Hunter joined the Coyotes from the Colorado Avalanche in 1996. As the clubs executive vice president, Hunter’s first achievement was reaching a cap of 12,000 season ticket sales in just under six weeks before the team even had a name. He was instrumental in creating and implementing the Avalanche team colors and logo as well as the logo for the Denver Nuggets.

Since joining AEG in 2002, Hunter has also been influential in a number of major business developments in Major League Soccer. As one of AEGs representatives on MLSs Board of Directors, Hunter played a role in the formulation of the Designated Player Rule, which opened the doors for the arrival of such international stars, during the 2007 MLS season, as the New York Red Bulls Juan Pablo ngel, the Chicago Fires Cuauhtmoc Blanco and the LA Galaxys David Beckham. On behalf of AEG, Hunter also secured the Galaxys multimillion dollar jersey sponsorship following Beckhams signing.

In addition, for the past five years Hunter has chaired and will continue to chair the MLS Business Development Committee, which has recently approved such important initiatives as the sponsorship of MLS jersey fronts and the guaranteed distribution of every single MLS game via local television.

Galaxy Appoint Goalkeeper Coach

The successor to former Galaxy goalkeeper coach Tim Hanley is former MLS and English league jouneyman (literally) keeper Ian Feuer.

From the Galaxy press release:

The Las Vegas native began his professional career in 1993 with Belgian side Club Brugge before briefly returning to the United States later that year to play for the L.A. Salsa of the APSL. After a short stint with the Salsa, the 36-year old, who earned his first and only cap with the U.S. National Team against Morocco on March 18, 1992, returned to Europe in April 1994 when he signed with West Ham United of the English Premier League. Loan spells at Peterborough and Luton Town would follow before he was sold outright to Luton in December 1995. He remained at the club, winning the Fans Player of the Year Award in the 1995-96 season, until March 1998 when he again returned to the U.S., signing with the New England Revolution.

Feuer appeared in and started 26 games for New England that season before being traded to Colorado in February 1999. Feuer started 19 games for the Rapids that season, as well as each of the clubs two postseason matches, keeping eight clean sheets while compiling a 1.22 goals against average. He returned to West Ham after the 1999 MLS season and spent the next three years in England with West Ham, Wimbledon and Derby County.

Mangled Martino

Finally, Galaxy beat writer Billy Witz checks in with this update on a battered and bruised Kyle Martino.

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About Nick Green

South Bay-based Los Angeles News Group soccer columnist and blogger Nick Green writes at the 100 Percent Soccer blog at www.insidesocal.com/soccer and craft beer at the Beer Goggles blog at www.insidesocal.com/beer. Cheers!