Chivas USA is no more. The hammer fell on Monday. It's over, though it will take time to process, especially with no soccer for a couple of years.
For those who are interested in the new MLS team in Los Angeles, however, the fact that Major League Soccer is unveiling the new owners on Thursday, the same week as the doors closed for good on Chivas USA, provides some solace, or at least a reason to look ahead to the future.
Still, there's a lot of uncertainty ahead. We'll find some things out during the event, and certainly, more questions will arise. But here are five big questions ahead of the unveiling:
- Are the owners the four men previously reported? Henry Nguyen, Peter Guber, Vincent Tan and Tom Penn are reportedly the owners of the new MLS club. Is that the case? Will all four be in attendance at the event? Will they discuss the division of labor and resources among the team? We may not get an answer to that last question publicly, but we'll at least find out who is actually behind the new club.
- Where will the team play? It seems unlikely they've already got a site locked down for the eventual permanent home of the club, based on reports. Are they willing to speak about projected sites? Can they reveal any plans? And where will they play temporarily? Taylor Twellman reported it would be the LA Coliseum, which has already led to very divided opinions.
- What's the actual status of the new club at present? By this, I mean is the team official, like Arthur Blank's Atlanta team, slated to begin play in 2017, or provisional, like David Beckham's Miami club, which isn't official because it doesn't have a stadium site ready and has no concrete plans for when they'll enter the league. Based on initial reports, it may not be surprising if the LA2 is in the same camp as Beckham's team, which will likely make nascent fans nervous for fear the new team may never actually become a reality. If they stick to 2017 without wiggle room, then that may tip the balance towards the club's status being official. We'll see.
- Oh yeah, do they have a name? Do we need to call it LA2 for the next 12, 15, 18 months? I mean, if there's no name, the chance the whole enterprise is provisional likely increases, though to be fair, the Atlanta team don't have a name yet, either. The Black Army 1850 are already on record as not wanting to use LA2 as a placeholder name, because they say it's too similar to the LA Galaxy's USL PRO team, LA Galaxy II, though I doubt that is the case since everybody calls that team "Los Dos," for some reason. At any rate, having the actual name might help people move on from Chivas USA and into the future faster, just saying, though I doubt they're ready to unveil it right now.
- Any concrete plans for the Academy and player development? I was pretty angry when Don Garber said Chivas USA's Academy will shut down in June 2015. Is there any chance the new club's Academy will form in July 2015? Maybe closing CUSA's Academy will be more of a logistical move than actually willfully throwing away years of youth development, though there would surely be shuffling between programs. And while we're on the subject, is this group thinking of setting up a USL PRO team? Obviously, getting an MLS team going and situated is the priority, but if they can get their ducks in a row, maybe they can even launch the USL PRO team at the same time as the MLS team.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!