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Apocalypse now: Chivas USA will cease operations, effective immediately; new LA club to debut in 2017

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The lights are officially out on the team known as Chivas USA.

G. Newman Lowrance

Major League Soccer announced on Monday that the end has indeed come for Chivas USAIn a release that was published on MLSsoccer.com, the club will cease operations immediately, following the conclusion of the team's 2014 season on Sunday. The MLS Board of Governors "unanimously" decided to shutter the club.

Giving an indication of what's to come, there is a scheduled announcement about the future of...well, not this club, but a club in Los Angeles, on Thursday. Evidently, there will be more information at that time, and at the very least, we won't have to wait long to hear about it.

Perhaps most germane to Chivas USA fans, there will be no club for the next two seasons. LA2 will begin play in 2017, along with expansion club Atlanta. Given the circumstances, LA2 will be an expansion club, though what will happen to the records of Chivas USA vis a vis the new club is currently unclear.

The players under contract beyond this season on Chivas USA will be sent to new clubs through a dispersal draft, as had been mooted. No date has been set on that.

"As part of our new strategy for Southern California -- a major hotbed of soccer participation and fan support -- we believe that engaging with a new ownership group which has the resources and local community ties, and a plan for a dedicated soccer-specific stadium, provides us with the best chance for success," said MLS Commissioner Don Garber in the statement.

No word on what will happen with the Chivas USA Academy for the next two years.

This is a tough, tough day. We knew the end was likely, but it seemed like there was a chance it might not happen like this. Losing a team is the very worst thing that can happen in sports.

We'll have plenty of coverage on this story, of course. Stick with us on a very bitter day.

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