Now that the World Cup is over, there are new fans of soccer cropping up, or casual fans who are interested in delving deeper into their fandom. Welcome! The water is warm over here, and soccer is on nearly every day of the year.
Guides about picking an MLS team are cropping up, with this one at World Soccer Talk getting me thinking. I don't know the person who wrote it -- I assume he said, "There's no such thing as Chivas USA fans," and zoomed through that section as quickly as possible. He wouldn't be the first person to do that.
If you're new to MLS, you may be wondering about Chivas USA, the team with a non-place specific name that has a horrible reputation around the league. But I'm here, as someone who writes about this team every day, to convince you to become a fan of the Goats!
Here are three reasons why you should become a fan of Chivas USA right now:
- Start from the ground floor: Yes, it's true that Chivas USA have played since 2005, but they're still looking for that first sign of real success -- a trophy. And given the turmoil that has preceded the present with this club, they've essentially started from scratch like seven times already. If you become a fan now, you will be part of a beginning of sorts, before the team changes following a rebrand projected to be coming later this year. Don't wait for the rebrand to happen before casting your lot with this team -- waiting around like that is for weenies, let's be real. Stand up, be proud, and become a Chivas USA/LA2/whatever they'll be called next fan, today.
- You like underdogs? Here's the ultimate underdog: If you like frontrunners, you have probably already picked the LA Galaxy, or maybe a couple others, as your team. We CUSA fans are not partial to the Galaxy, for obvious reasons, but if the underdog isn't your style, fair enough and enjoy your fandom. But a lot of you like the underdog, and Chivas USA is the underdog of the league. A former ownership group that did a horrible job managing the club, constant turmoil from the top down, bitter disrespect from fans of other teams -- ok, it seems like being a fan of the team is a chore. But the owner is gone, there will be more turnover in the near future but that's because a new, awesome, fully committed owner will hopefully be coming aboard soon, and I've noticed that the more Chivas USA fans are out there, visible, the less vitriol people are apt to spit about the team. As I said, I bet the writer of the aforementioned piece knows zero Chivas USA fans, and felt comfortable dumping on them. Don't let his ignorance, or the ignorance of many others, cloud your judgment. Join the tight-knit community of supporters who want to see this club turn the corner for good.
- We bring something different to the table: One of the biggest markers of Chivas USA, phrased in ways both insightful and completely racist, is the Latino influence at the club. Latinos play soccer at pretty high numbers, and the proportion of Latinos in the U.S. continues to rise. While there are points of debate concerning the direction of the team, in the past and into the future, and while the former owners appeared to have either been unaware of the legality of some of their personnel moves in the organization, or been downright racist themselves, those people have left the team. Don't worry, they aren't coming back, that page is turned. And Chivas USA do an admirable job in communicating everything in two languages, and trying to appeal to a bicultural crowd. You don't have to be Latino to be a fan of this team, but you should probably like tacos...it's just part of the lifestyle here in Southern California, regardless of your heritage.
Look, some of the things I wrote above may make it sound like Chivas USA is a hard team to follow. And yeah, there have definitely been bad times. I'm not trying to paint a picture of this team that doesn't exist. What I want to do is to open a conversation on this club, why I continue to follow it, and why I want you to be part of the group that helps it turn around for good. Chivas USA has great fans, some good players, and a promising future ahead. Come join us, we're accepting new fans!
What do you think? Leave a comment below! Tell us why you support Chivas USA or why you may be interested in becoming a fan of the team. We'll answer any questions you have...don't be shy!