We've got some news today that will bridge the Chivas USA-LAFC divide.
MLS Atlanta, the as-yet-unnamed expansion team that will join the league in 2017, announced on Monday they have hired former CUSA defender Carlos Bocanegra as that club's first technical director. Bocanegra officially retired at the end of last season, though a concussion in July effectively ended his career, as he never returned to the field.
The news is perhaps a bit surprising considering Bocanegra is a California native and, hey, look at that, there's a new Los Angeles team joining MLS in 2017, too!
Of course, this will be Boca's first non-playing days job, and who knows if he'll make for a strong technical director or not. If he does, then LAFC will likely be cursing themselves for not jumping out first, and if he doesn't, then they'll be thankful they didn't act hastily.
However, the move does highlight the fact that Atlanta and LAFC are on different timelines here, and LAFC may be quickly falling behind. Since Atlanta has a stadium site secured, and has since they were announced, they don't have to deal with LAFC's absolute top priority, which is securing the land, getting the plans together and beginning construction on a stadium. I certainly don't begrudge LAFC really working on the stadium front, since it is fundamental to getting the team settled, something that of course never happened with Chivas USA, who never had a stadium of their own.
Two years sounds like a long time, but key personnel will need to be hired sooner than later if the rest of the club's infrastructure is to be set up properly before the team begins play. Atlanta have laid down the gauntlet with Bocanegra's hiring -- I doubt they made this move expressly with LAFC in mind, but the new California club should recognize that the clock's ticking, especially after this news.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!