Yesterday's 1-0 loss in Dallas laid bare the need for upgrades on the Chivas USA squad. With the open transfer window moving towards a third week, fans of the team are trying to stay patient, but with the pick-ups being made around the league the anxiety is starting to creep in. In the coming days I will be exploring some of the needs for Chivas. But I thought I would start this series with a look at why potential transfer targets should come to Chivatown.
Below, some of the key appeals to joining Chivas USA:Chivas need a star: Isn't this the situation for every player who truly wants to be a star? Go to a team stocked with some good squad players that is crying out for an impact player? There are a lot of players who would wilt in the spotlight as 'the man,' but for those who really are of star quality, this is a situation tailor-made for them. Along with that, Chivas are in the top half of the league in goals scored, but the team suffers from not having a player up top who can finish his chances consistently and be a consistent threat in the box. Any player who wants to really set himself apart by scoring buckets of goals would be a welcome addition to the team. Of course, a goal-scorer would be welcomed everywhere, but there is a special need with Chivas.
The pressure is not as high: Of course, Chivas fans have expectations for the team. We want them to continually improve and reach certain benchmarks every season. But relative to the situation at many leagues and teams around the world, Chivas USA is, ahem, a little under the radar. Players here have the benefit of having an interested and dedicated fanbase with a general sports media culture that doesn't provide the same scrutiny as Europe or South America. In some respects, it is the best of both worlds for players, where they can work on their game and build a string of impressive performances and allow the plaudits to grow without having their every waking moment documented to the nth degree. Hey, it's worked so far for Nick LaBrocca, why not for another player?
Life in SoCal: Jose Mourinho is not the only person who's fallen in love with Los Angeles. It is obvious but Southern California provides something for everybody. LA is a global city and has an expatriate population from every country on earth, so players who could get homesick are bound to find a community of compatriots and some food that reminds them of home. There's the beach, the desert, the mountains, Rodeo Drive, Hollywood, Silver Lake, and plenty more. Why would you play anywhere else?
Building a tradition: Chivas detractors would of course say that there are two teams in LA, so why would a player go to the Goats? As I mentioned above, players will get a shot at playing time and a chance to prove their worth far faster with Chivas than with that other team. But beyond that, Chivas is a newer club than the Galaxy and has less history, so an impact player will make a bigger impact with Chivas. A new addition could be the first legend that people discuss when they bring up Chivas a generation from now. The Galaxy? He would be at best the fourth or fifth name brought up. And any accomplishments or dare I say trophies won with the Goats would ensure a privileged place in the Chivas pantheon.
A new challenge: A technically-gifted player will find not only opportunities in MLS, but also a style of play that will likely represent a new challenge. MLS has faced criticism for being overly physical, but at its best it is a speedy, physical league without being overly so. If a foreign player made his name at, say, Chivas, he could probably hack it in some of the better rated leagues around the world, and MLS could represent a stepping stone to a truly big league.
What do you think? Are any significant reasons missing? Leave a comment below!