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Just Win, Baby: An Open Letter to Jorge Vergara

After reading the comments from today's press conference, we write a letter to Jorge Vergara.

Will you bring Cubo to Chivas USA?
Will you bring Cubo to Chivas USA?
Stephen Dunn

Dear Jorge,

I heard about the press conference you held today. I thought you would be announcing a coach today, but I guess with a decision as important as coach, you want to make sure you have the right person, right? You probably don't want to wait too long to get going on that, but it is still a bit early before the various drafts, transfer window, and offseason trade possibilities really kick off. Don't forget, there are a lot of peculiar rules in MLS (except when there aren't, but I don't think you can count on getting free passes from The Don whenever you want them), and it is best to stay on top of them in order to get success.

I heard you said you were looking for a stadium. There are many aspects of this team that need to be fixed, but a home of Chivas USA's own is certainly one of them. It seems you understand that until Chivas USA gets its own stadium, the critics (and there are a lot, in case you haven't been following MLS closely in recent years) will continue to insist the team needs to move, or fold. I know you have a flair for the dramatic, and your revelation that a Texas city (San Antonio? Yeah, there aren't any other logical candidates, right?) tried very hard to get the club to move away from LA is interesting, but there are a lot of people out there who don't think LA needs two teams, or that Chivas USA simply will not work. By building a stadium, you can help quiet that particular criticism.

Beyond the stadium, you confirmed today that Chivas USA was going to return to the Chivas de Guadalajara model that you saw at the outset. I hope you understand so many people are wary of "going back," because 2005 was such a disaster. You mentioned playing Chivas de Guadalajara players on Chivas USA. I might be on board with this, depending on the players you are talking about. Are you talking about the caliber of players who have come over in the past? Because for the most part, those players weren't equipped to really do much in MLS. I understand you don't want to raid Chivas de Guadalajara of all of its stars, since that is clearly your priority, but what about Cubo Torres? He's promising but seems to have faltered a bit - maybe a change of pace would help restart his prospects of going to Europe one day? I'd ask for Chaton Enriquez as well, but I know that's not happening.

It would also do you, the club, and the fans some good to clarify the outlook you have for the club. See, there's this misconception that Chivas USA is going to become all-Mexican. It seems you want to appeal to a Latino fanbase more than an entirely Mexican one, and although that seems like the Chivas brand is somewhat shortsighted in that respect, you are trying to appeal to a larger group. I would hasten to add that Los Angeles also consists of many non-Latinos too. Just like there are Latino LA Galaxy fans, there are also non-Latino Chivas USA fans (oh, and players). You seem to have indicated that the team would play a "Latin-style" of soccer, which isn't necessarily a bad thing at all, but you probably should have clarified that you don't have to be Latino to play soccer in a "Latin-style."

Above all, I want this team to win, and win often. It is heartening to hear that you want Chivas USA to be in the MLS Cup Final in two years. That sounds great! Is it realistic, though? If it is and if Chivas USA reach those heights within two years, fantastic! I will be the first to hail you as a visionary. If, however, it will take time to implement a sustained winning culture with this club, maybe you shouldn't have reached and plucked two years out of the air? That timeframe gives fans of the team huge expectations, and the high possibility of failure gives those pesky critics more grist for the mill.

I am but one fan, and I don't fit many of the profiles your marketing gurus are trying to focus on for the growth of Chivas USA. If you can reliably deliver a winning team, I'll be on board. By winning and competing for trophies year in and year out, you will shut up the legion of critics. By sinking down permanent roots in Los Angeles, by investing in the team properly, and by hiring competent experts and signing players who can successfully compete in MLS, you can become a legend in this league. But if you only talk and don't follow through on the lofty promises you offer, you will feed the hate for this club, and you will crush fans who have already supported the team through some very low moments. All I ask of you is to make sure Chivas USA just wins.



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