Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Real Salt Lake
Chris Kamrani
Chris Kamrani covers Real Salt Lake for the Tribune.

» E-mail

» Subscribe (RSS)

MLS buys Chivas USA, to rebrand club under new ownership in 2015

Wave goodbye to Chivas USA.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Or, wait until after the 2014 Major League Soccer season. But the Los Angeles-based franchise isn’t dissolving or being relocated as of yet, it has been purchased by the league itself. MLS announced it bought Chivas USA from former owners Jorge Vergara and wife Angelica Fuentes Thursday afternoon.

Upon purchase, the league assumed immediate responsibility for operating the club and MLS will appoint an executive to oversee the club as the Chivas USA president in the interim, per a release from the league.

The story behind the club’s inadequacies is: Chivas USA struggled to maintain anything resembling consistency since its inception in 2005, joining MLS the same year as Real Salt Lake. In a report from the Associated Press Thursday, it stated that Chivas USA averaged a league-low attendance at 8,366 fans per home match.

MLS now moves to find a new owner or ownership group in the coming months to be committed to turning the franchise around as well as building a new stadium — Chivas shares the StubHub Center along with the L.A. Galaxy — in the greater Los Angeles area. The press release issued by the league stated that MLS 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."

Once a new ownership is set in place, the club will be rebranded with a new name and logo in regards to the sale to that specific owner.

Vergara was initially part of the original ownership group that purchased the MLS expansion club to begin play in 2005, and in 2012 he and Fuentes became the full owners of the team purchasing the team from original owner Antonio Cue. The pair has controlled Mexican league staple Chivas Guadalajara, Chivas USA’s former parent club of sorts, since 2002.

"When Angelica and I gained full operational control of the team for the first time 15 months ago, we were hopeful we would be able to turn it around," Vergara said in a statement. "However, there is only one Chivas de Guadalajara, and we have realized that it will require more time, further resources, and a level of commitment that would divert too much of our focus from our other business interests."

MLS Commissioner Don Garber said in a conference call Thursday that the plan surrounding Chivas USA was to "extend one of soccer’s most venerable brands into the United States."

"The concept was to take a team that in essence represented the hopes and dreams of Mexican soccer fans both in Mexico and the United States and try to extend that here to the United States," Garber said.

For now, Chivas USA remains. But not for long. Come 2015, Orlando and New York City FC won’t be the only new clubs joining the league.

-Chris Kamrani

Twitter: @chriskamrani

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.