It all started as a great idea; a soccer team in the US for fans of Mexican origin. The team would be quickly embraced by the southern California followers of the Mexican soccer team Chivas Rayadas del Guadalajara. Soon, many more thousands of nostalgic Mexican fans would also make Chivas USA their home team. Mexican players would be in its roster just to ensure that fans wouldn’t forget what the team symbolizes. Opening season was great, attendance was bigger than MLS averages, seems to be that the marketing formula was working.
A few more great seasons, qualifying to the season playoffs four times in its first five seasons and that was it. Today it was announced that Chivas USA is ceasing operations immediately. The Chivas USA soccer team is gone and its spot in the MSL will be taken by a new franchise that will start playing in 2017.
It is sad, for the followers of the club and the players. It is also bad for the city as we lost one more professional sport team. It is good for the sport, as you should not build a new professional sport team by gathering your emigrant fans and trying to make them follow a team that is just a replica of the original in Mexico. A successful team brings meaningful positive impact to the community, just take a look at Xolos de Tijuana.
Anyway, personally, I was related to the team, although not in the way I would like to. In 2006, Chivas USA, the MLS and SUM filed a complaint against me with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center, they wanted to take the domain name www.Chivasusa.com away from me as I have registered the domain in 2003, a year before they started playing in the MLS. They were represented by the law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges, LLP, New York, New York. In summary, they lost the case and I got to keep the domain name. What this the beginning of the end? Maybe.
Chivas USA only lived 10 years, but from day one the marketing formula was wrong. I just wonder how they managed to survived 10 years.
Adios Chivas USA.