Here's some news that puts a dent on the good vibes that has been enthusiastic expansion in American soccer in recent years: USL PRO side Phoenix FC Wolves put a message on their website Wednesday that appears to put their existence in doubt.
To the fans and followers of Phoenix FC:
We regret to inform you that after much effort and energy to bring professional soccer to Phoenix, ASM, LLC will no longer be operating a USL PRO franchise.
We sincerely appreciate all the support and enthusiasm of our fans in hopes of making this venture successful.
Phoenix FC Management
Founded in 2012, Phoenix FC played just one season in USL PRO, and their history has been plagued by trouble, as the team's original owners, BDM, LLC, were swept aside by the next group, ASM, LLC, after major financial problems including failure to play wages and racking up major debts. However, the new group also struggled to become compliant with league regulations, and the Wolves were unable to sign players heading into the upcoming 2014 season, which begins at the end of this month.
As late as last week, USL president Tim Holt seemed publicly optimistic the team could turn things around.
What connection does this story have to Chivas USA? Well, besides the situation of a team struggling under owners who can't or won't run the team properly, the Goats' reserves are scheduled to face Phoenix FC on May 24 in an MLS Reserve League match as part of the MLS-USL partnership. The game was scheduled to be a night game in Peoria, Ariz.
A report from Arizona-based writer Odeen Domingo Wednesday evening says new owners for Phoenix FC have been lined up, and will apparently even be able to work fast enough in arranging matters to play this season, as amazing as that sounds. So maybe that game against Chivas USA's reserves won't be in doubt after all, if the new owners can work very quickly.
Obviously, stay tuned on this front. It may just be a reserves game for Chivas, but it would be a shame for another burgeoning team to be done under by poor ownership, and it would be a shame for Chivas to possibly lose one of the games in the MLS-USL partnership, after joining in it this year.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!