All the questions surrounding a Chivas USA hiatus

All the questions surrounding a Chivas USA hiatus

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On September 30, 2014

On Monday the news broke that Chivas USA could indeed be going on a hiatus for at least two years. ESPNFC reported the updated news that a new owner is buying the club for $100 million dollars.

But even with all the hiatus talk, it left with more questions than answers. I’ll do my best to answer them as much as I possible can here. I’m sure I am leaving out a ton of other questions but these seem to be the bigger ones in my head at the moment.

1. What will happen to the current roster?

If anything this current roster will likely get blown up in a way along with the team. This means likely another draft but in the dispersal type sense. Given the way this current roster looks, there really may only be about four or five guys worth going after. I can see both New York City FC and Orlando City SC smiling at bit at the thought of landing someone like Dan Kennedy for their expansion season. There is talent on this roster, so I would imagine MLS will allow teams to go through and pick players up.

2. What about the academy teams?

This is possibly the most tricky one of them all in my mind. Chivas USA at one time had one of the stronger academies in the league. But then came all the legal issues with discrimination. Since then you haven’t heard a ton about this academy but it is still there. If anything I hope the league continues to operate it to continue developing young talent. That or the new owner takes over it and begins the rebrand process with this group on a grassroots level.

3. Is two years enough?

The two years thing is certainly interesting. For one it is set up to allow the new owner to get a fairly clean slate and more importantly a new stadium for the club to play in. The ESPN report had mentions of some stadium locations in LA.

Outside of that I think the two years thing is smart from a mental stand point. While this club, whatever it may turn into will always be in some way linked to Chivas USA, will get a chance to basically start over.

4. Will the new owners retain any of the Chivas records?

I highly doubt it. If anything those records will join the Tampa Bay Mutiny and the Miami Fusion on the MLS failed team shelf in New York.

5. Will this new team really just become an expansion team more than a team off hiatus?

I’m curious to see how MLS will truly handle this once it is all said and done. I see them treating this new team exactly like they did with the San Jose Earthquakes. When San Jose was moved to Houston, the league treated the new Quakes like an expansion team. I mean if they are going to blow up the roster, wait two or three years, they’ll have to have some sort of draft to get new players.

6. Why doesn’t MLS move them out of LA?

I get this question a lot. Maybe more than some questions I get about expansion markets around the country. But here it goes, this team isn’t leaving LA at all. Just don’t even question it. Sure it seems silly to have two clubs in one market, but this is what MLS is going after. They know the LA market is big enough for two clubs, heck I would even argue three. It goes into the rivalry discussion that MLS wants out there. Having local derbies is huge in soccer and MLS knows that. Plus, there is a ton of money to be earned in that market with TV and sponsors that they just cannot get anywhere else outside of New York, which also has two teams.

7. Will there be any conference realignment?

This question popped into my head early this morning before I sat down to write these questions out. We already knew/assumed that going into next year MLS would likely be sending the Houston Dynamo back to the Western Conference when New York and Orlando joined the league. Still making the conferences uneven with 10 in the West and 11 in the East. But now with Chivas on a potential hiatus we’re looking at nine teams (counting Houston) and 11 in the East. Surely MLS won’t stand for that kind of unbalance in the conference so one more team will likely move West.

So who will it be? Chicago or Kansas City? Both are prime candidates to join Houston in the rugged West, which to me sounds like a bad prize to both squads considering two expansion teams are joining what is already arguable a weaker conference.