In a highly unusual move Major League Soccer has rescued the Chivas USA franchise by acquiring the team from its owners Jorge Vergara and Angelica Fuentes.
MLS Commissioner Don Garber says that the league paid “market price” for the club, and that MLS will now look to flip the team to a new local owner before the end of 2014.
“We thank Jorge Vergara and Angelica Fuentes for their significant commitment to Major League Soccer,” Garber said. “Jorge was an early believer in the league and he and Angelica have been great partners in MLS. We collectively agreed that it is best to sell the club to new owners who are committed to securing a new stadium and providing MLS with a strong rival for the LA Galaxy.”
As for who will buy Chivas, Garber said
“We have had lots of conversations with local owners. There’s enormous interest, but this is a heavy lift.”
Making it even ager is that Garber is committed to keeping two MLS teams in the Los Angeles area adding that the league will “lead discussions on the stadium front, and hopefully be in a position to hand them over to a new ownership group” when one is found.
The preferred site remains the current location of the LA Sports Arena in downtown Los Angeles near the campus of the University of Southern California, Garber said.
For the 2014 season, the Goats will maintain the Chivas USA name but when a new owner is found, the club will be rebranded.
If MLS cannot find a new owner willing to build a soccer specific stadium in LA, I wonder of the league would consider moving the team to another city, like Minneapolis which is being whispered about as a possible expansion city at some point?