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A note on the past and future of The Goat Parade

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I began writing for The Goat Parade in June 2011, not long after the site launched. The mission of the site was simple -- to cover Chivas USA, and since I began writing and eventually took over running the site officially, that's been the primary objective.

Probably on the surface, SB Nation devoting a website to Chivas USA seemed to be checking a box that all MLS teams needed a blog. But what was the demand for such a site? As anybody who knows CUSA is well aware, there is a perception that the team had no fans, and perhaps implicitly, the lack of regular, consistent daily coverage of this team was a reality of the market. Maybe it just wasn't necessary.

Looking back on the last three and a half years, I'm proud to say we exploded that myth (even if it may have been a personal motivational tool, who knows). This website has been successful far beyond my initial expectations. It's growing every month. People truly seem to want to read about this team, and that's been incredibly rewarding.

Ever since rumors began swirling that Chivas USA was going to fold, I've been asked about the fate of The Goat Parade. At first, I wasn't sure what would happen, either. I'm still not sure on what direction the future holds, but fortunately SB Nation put their full support behind this site immediately.

As a result, I'm happy to announce that The Goat Parade will not go the way of the club it was set up to cover. We will continue to write regularly, and we hope you, the reader, come along as we enter the next phase of our history.

We're still trying to figure out what the propelling force of the website will be on a daily basis. For the next few months, we're going to cover the end of Chivas USA, and bring you the season and player postmortem articles we've been doing since year one. We're also going to cover all news regarding the new LA club, since our plan for the moment is to cover that team. Two years is a long time, but we'll see what we can do.

Beyond that, there's going to be some experimenting. I'm probably going to let my soccer writing interests take me where they will. Some things we try will work, and others won't. That's the process of writing in general, but when your main mission disappears, improvisation is the only way forward. Of course, if you have tips/requests/ideas, by all means, let us know.

There are a lot of people I need to thank for making the past three and a half years so successful. First and foremost, the writers, to whom I owe immense gratitude. For Rachna Kapur, my first recruit and the most accurate MLS SuperDraft analyst I've ever known, thanks for taking the leap to work on this side project in your busy life. And for Matt Hoffman, thank you for gradually taking on more and more as time went on, from writing statistics pieces to writing think pieces and eventually, running the site last year for a time when I had a baby. It was a lot to handle, and I appreciate it all.

Thanks to our "What the Flock?!" podcast partners, ELAC and Glyconerd, who also chipped in with articles, reporting, translation and photos over the years. I missed not hearing your input in recent times, but I'm glad we teamed up and hopefully this site helped to spread the word about your terrific show.

Thanks to Stephen Brandt, Omar Avalos, Luis Bueno, Maxi Rodriguez, and JFrancisco for their contributions, whether they were one or 30 articles, over the years. And this season, thanks to Fred Karl, Joshua Friend, Michele Tossani, Joseph Morgan, Cesar Hernandez, and Eric Bobadilla for all of their hard work during a very busy year. Truly, everybody who has written on the site has been valuable.

On a personal level, I want to thank a couple of additional people in particular, besides the site's writers. I owe a tremendous debt to Dustyn Richardson, who recruited me to write for Total-MLS.com in early 2011 about Chivas USA, giving me a platform to write about the team I'd been following since 2006. Frankly, it opened my world, giving me hope I could do this hobby on a regular basis.

In that vein, I must also thank Jeremiah Oshan, who recruited me to write for The Goat Parade. He needed somebody to write about Chivas USA for SB Nation's blog, and I was getting kind of addicted to writing about soccer, and it turned out to be a great partnership. Beyond that, Jeremiah's feedback, support, and promotion of the site have been invaluable in bringing us to this point. Thanks to you, my dreams of doing this (this!) as my job have become a reality, and I'm incredibly grateful.

I must also thank the Chivas USA staff, players and coaches who I've worked with and talked to over the years, as well as the many writers who I've asked three (or more) questions. SB Nation is a great network to be a part of, and many thanks to them as well for supporting perhaps the most niche of niche sports sites. And thanks to MLSsoccer.com's editorial staff for giving me a chance to truly make writing and editing in soccer journalism a career.

And obviously, I wouldn't even be writing this now if it wasn't for all of the readers of this site. We have strived to be a place of information, entertainment and knowledge for Chivas USA fans, first and foremost, but also for anybody interested in soccer on some level. Thank you, thank you, thank you for reading the articles, long and short, silly and serious, and leaving comments, tweeting out the links, posting our articles on Big Soccer and Reddit and telling your friends about this site. The support has been tremendous, and I hope you continue coming back to read the coverage moving forward.

Time for The Goat Parade 2.0.

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