Editor's note: Behind the scenes at The Goat Parade, we've been working to add new contributors. We'd like to introduce a new columnist, Eric Bobadilla, to the staff, and thank him for sharing his reaction to the bombshell Thursday that MLS bought Chivas USA back from Jorge Vergara and Angelica Fuentes.
Back in 2005, a confident and borderline cocky Jorge Vergara made it known that his superior brand of futbol had arrived. He was ready to take MLS by storm and local fans were buzzing with curiosity. Unfortunately things sometimes don't go as planned -- the team struggled out of the gate and gradually developed a long-lasting culture of losing. Off the field, we witnessed our fair share of drama, unpaid players, unjustified firings, lawsuits, empty stadiums, a marketing budget of zero, and a lack of a television contract.
In other words, a whole lot of negativity.
This afternoon, MLS announced that it has purchased Chivas USA from Jorge Vergara and Angelica Fuentes.
Wait. Let's let that sink in for a bit. Vergara is out. The man behind all this madness is no longer calling the shots, as if he called many shots to begin with.
All Chivas USA fans wanted was a competent owner who is actually present and a team with a plan and identity of its own. It took nine seasons, but it appears the time has finally come.
Vergara admits his attempt at bringing the Chivas brand to United States was a failed one, but at the same time says that he, as an owner, "came out very well." Earlier this week, he mentioned that CUSA's futility damaged the Chivas brand in Los Angeles, but didn't show much concern for the ongoing struggles his Los Angeles club was going through. His objective has always been to boost the fortunes of the Guadalajara mothership and its obvious Chivas USA failed not because it couldn't succeed, but Vergara didn't put any effort into allowing it to succeed.
With the MLS now in control of the club until a new owner is found, they'll need to be careful to not make any moves that would potentially scare buyers away. It's exactly what CUSA has done this offseason. They shed away the bad contracts, loaded up on loanees, brought in a few relatively cheap trialists, and signed a few capable veterans to make this team competitive yet without any commitment that could harm any future roster flexibility. Whoever wins the bidding war will not only get to own professional club in a major market, but they'll also have that coveted clean slate to work with.
Vergara has also stated that Bofo and Cubo will be sent back to Chivas de Guadalajara this summer. It makes sense that Cubo heads back, and its a shame considering he's been so effective, but I don't buy Bofo leaving. Bofo was purchased by Chivas USA, which is now owned by MLS, making him MLS property. I suspect he'll be around for the remainder of the season, but am a bit worried considering his motive for signing with the club was to eventually retire with Guadalajara. Now that the CUSA/CGUAD tie has been broken, I wonder how motivated he'll be this season.
It will also be interesting how Wilmer Cabrera approaches his forwards going into this summer. It's almost a lock that he continues to feature Cubo up until his departure, but it wouldn't surprise me if he decides to platoon Matthew Fondy,Thomas McNamara, and Caleb Calvert up top at the expense of giving Bofo a nice feature-filled farewell tour.
This upcoming 2014 season will be a sort of farewell tour for Chivas USA as next year will be completely different to everything we've grown accustomed to. We'll have one more chance to see the red and white striped kits, one more chance to hear "Arriba las Chivas" before every home game, and one more chance to cheer on our beloved Goats.
Let's go out with a bang. I think we all deserve it.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!