Back to the future for Chivas USA

When Chivas USA first entered MLS in 2005, their presumptuous slogan was Futbol es Aqui.

They employed a core of youth and reserve CD Guadalajara players, while also importing a bunch of fading stars who made no lasting impact (remember Martin “one game” Zuniga or veteran Ramon Ramirez?).

The team promptly became the joke of MLS, marched to a four-win inaugural season and frankly never recovered.

Belatedly realizing management had absolutely no clue about MLS, Chivas USA rebooted and saw gringos Bob Bradley and Preki achieve a modicum of success before lapsing back into ineptitude.

And now Chivas USA has come full circle, promising to emphasize once more its Mexican roots in a Southern California market where even most of its tiny cadre of loyal fans want this to be an American club that emphasizes its Latino heritage rather than a Chivas Guadalajara offshoot plopped down in the U.S. that means nothing to virtually anyone.

Of course, MLS Commish Don Garber, observing Tuesday that Chivas USA was the first MLS expansion club on his watch, isn’t about to admit failure and still clings to the completely unproven notion that a red and white clad Chivas USA can appeal, for instance, to Club America fans despite seven years of evidence to the contrary.

“I’m not sure I’m entirely convinced of that,” Garber said of the idea that Chivas USA can’t appeal to Latino fans of rival clubs and countries. “I think the idea of having a club that is connected to the Hispanic audience that’s not just connected to the Mexican audience is still right. Just because the Chivas name is on it doesn’t mean somebody who is either a fan of another Mexican club or a fan of a club from Colombia or from Argentina or Brazil or from other parts of central America (won’t support them). I believe it could still work.”

Really?

Staff Writer Phil Collin filed this story.

But it does still seem as if Chivas USA is a self-serving extension of its owners rather than a club trying legitimately to recconnect with its fans base.

How big of an ego do you have to have to issue three separate press releases about Tuesday’s happenings including one that praises Vergara’s wife and business partner for her financial role.

From Chivas USA’s press release:

Since her arrival to the institution in 2007, Angelica Fuentes Tellez has consolidated into a strategist and leader in the financial and administrative branch of Grupo Omnilife – Chivas, and currently stands as executive president, with a standout performance and a principal drive for Jorge Vergara within the organization.

;

With different strategies, which will be similar to those applied to Chivas and Omnilife, Chivas USA will be lead (sic) into the perfect functionality in soccer operations, finance and economic areas, which will lead the Goats forward to a promising future in its new era under the direction of Vergara and Fuentes, who are the main protagonists behind the success of Grupo Omnilife – Chivas.

;

“Angelica has done an extraordinary job, transforming the financial aspects in the Group. From red numbers, she converted them into black numbers,” affirmed Vergara.

Astoundingly, the apparently delusionary Vergaras believes Chivas USA can move into a new stadium, presumably where the LA Sports Arena now stands, in a “couple of years” even though negotiations with USC over the site are non-existant.

“This is the return of the prodigal son,” added Vergara. “From its inauguration, the plan was to make Chivas USA the son of Chivas de Guadalajara. Along the way it got away from that and the clubs suffered a divorce in philosophy and structure.”

Good luck with that.

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  • jamesey

    I can’t wait for them to re-run the billboards and bus signage painting the Galaxy as the rich team of white boys and the Chivas USA as the poor team of brown boys. That’s a great message for the league to try again.

  • RG Mr. Soccer

    From the beginning, Chivas USA was presented as by, of, and for Mexicans and Mexican-Americans. Not being in that demographic, I’ve never felt invited to support the club. And I never will.

    How can people with so much money be so stupid? Or rather how can such stupid people have so much money? How can the Vergaras think that this will work? What a joke.

  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    Garber’s comment shows that he has no clue about the Los Angeles market, and Vergara is the incarnate definition of insanity.