With former Chivas USA forward Erick Torres' future now fully announced, with the rising star joining the Houston Dynamo after a loan stint with his original club Chivas de Guadalajara, we can truly begin to take stock of what the Mexican brought to Chivas USA.
Put simply, after years of getting mostly terrible Chivas de Guadalajara castoffs and unwanted loanees, Cubo was an absolute steal.
How can I quantify it? The reported transfer fee for MLS/Dynamo to pick up on Cubo's purchase option was $7.5 million. Chivas USA spent considerably less than that in player salaries over three full seasons. They paid zero transfer fees in 2014, picking up all of their international newcomers on loan or free transfers.
To say that Chivas USA would never have been in the running to buy Cubo without the loan arrangement with Chivas de Guadalajara is obvious. Despite CUSA's cash-strapped ways, across multiple ownership regimes in the past three years, very few MLS teams would have been in the running to pick up Cubo's steep buy option.
After brainstorming and asking Twitter (so maybe not a complete list), it appears Cubo's $7.5 million option is the fourth-highest in MLS history for an "incoming" player. It is behind only the $10 million each paid by Toronto FC last offseason for Michael Bradley and Jermain Defoe, and $9 million for the Seattle Sounders' Clint Dempsey.
Of course, given the fact that he went back to Chivas on loan, Ives Galarcep (who had the scoop last week about Cubo going to Houston) reported that the loan may have been the facilitator to lower the $7.5 million price for the Dynamo. Just how much of a discount that might have ended up being is a mystery, at least for now. So maybe it was the fourth-highest transfer fee, maybe not.
Regardless, if it was anything north of, say, $500,000, Chivas USA would have never been in the running for his services, period. At any point in their history.
We can complain about the mismanagement Chivas USA suffered over the years, the lack of investment, and the poor returns from the close relationship to Chivas de Guadalajara.
But there's one clear exception to all of that: Torres. Ironically, the mismanagement in Guadalajara led to Cubo getting a shot to revive his career in MLS with Chivas USA, and he took his opportunity and ran with it. For once, Chivas' misfortune was CUSA's windfall.
It doesn't tip the balance in looking kindly on Chivas USA history overall, especially considering the club literally doesn't exist anymore. But without the connection to CD Guadalajara, it's safe to say Cubo would never have lit up in MLS for Chivas USA. And we've got to be grateful about that little tidbit, if little else.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!