MLS Folds Chivas USA, Sets Stage For New L.A. Soccer Franchise In 2017

Chivas USAChivas USA is no more.

Major League Soccer announced Monday that the Los Angeles-based team has ceased operations.

The league will disperse Chivas USA’s players into other teams, and a new L.A. franchise will begin play in 2017.

“After conducting a comprehensive strategic review of the market and Chivas USA’s operations, we will announce that effective this afternoon, Chivas USA will cease operations,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said in a statement. “This was a very difficult decision. We want to thank you, the fans, for ten years of unconditional support. We are grateful for your commitment to the club and to the sport.

“As part of our new Los Angeles strategy, we will launch a new MLS Los Angeles club for the 2017 season and will announce the new team’s ownership group later this week. I believe strongly that a new MLS Los Angeles team with passionate local ownership and an inclusive approach targeting all soccer/sports fans will be very successful.”

MLS will take two steps forward and one step back in 2015. MLS loses one team, but expansion teams New York City FC and Orlando City SC will begin play next season.

MLS will unveil the new L.A. team’s ownership group at a press conference Thursday. Vietnamese-American businessman Henry Nguyen heads the group, which also includes L.A. Dodgers and Golden State Warriors co-owner Peter Guber and Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan, according to Sports Illustrated.

For now, Chivas USA fans are lamenting the loss of their team. Chivas USA entered the league in 2005 as an expansion team with links to Mexican giant C.D. Guadalajara (commonly known as “Chivas”). Chivas USA struggled on the field and off it for a decade. MLS ultimately bought Chivas USA back from former owner Jorge Vergara, effectively ending the experiment of transporting the storied Mexican club’s identity north of the U.S.-Mexico border.

Photo by Twitter/@lastwordonsport

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