The MLS to Santa Ana saga continues.
UPDATE, NOV. 5, 2014: LAFC ownership confirmed that they’re open “to all options in LA and OC.”
PREVIOUSLY: Major League Soccer announced today an impressive, super deep-pocketed ownership group to take over its now defunct LA franchise formerly known as Chivas USA. The new club is referred to as Los Angeles Football Club and may retain its current name and colors, pending fan input. The ownership group expects to field a team in a new soccer stadium somewhere in Greater LA by 2017. As part of their PR, the club launched LAFC.com and a Twitter and Instagram account. Where things get revealing is on LAFC.com, where there’s a section labeled “location,” that shows a map of the LA region, withMLS logos spread out around the map.
As shown here, Santa Ana continues to be an option on MLS’s radar. Other sites are Exposition Park in Downtown LA, which is still the preferred location, and now Anaheim, Downey, Whittier, the Inglewood area, and the Hawthorne-Lawndale-Gardena area. The club is preaching more inclusiveness in comparison to what Chivas USA did. Whereas the latter was supposed to appeal especially to Mexican and Mexican-American fans, the former is intending to be more inclusive of LA’s diversity. Too many things went wrong, so many things weren’t done properly with Chivas USA to mention here, and their demise is exhausted in other news sources.
Los Angeles Football Club is owned by majority owner Henry Nguyen, with other big names including Peter Guber, Tom Penn, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Nomar Garciaparra and his wife Mia Hamm, to name only a few. One thing we have to consider is that this map could be nothing more than a marketing ploy, to build excitement in these identified areas. Or there could be some genuine interest in exhausting all of the group’s options, Santa Ana included. To this day, Santa Ana remains the only political entity to openly support an MLS club calling Santa Ana home. One important difference with this club to be is that they are privately funding a new stadium themselves. The group has more than enough dough to build a stadium and even buy the LA Aztecs brand from the North American Soccer League if that’s what people want. They won’t expect local tax dollars to help them build a stadium as Chivas USA did.
Now, that we’re here today still talking about MLS’s interest in Santa Ana reaffirms this city’s importance and force in soccer. Many pro teams have had something to do with Santa Ana soccer and now there’s this newest, titanic of an ownership group at least identifying us as an option in their plans. This doesn’t mean that LAFC will call Santa Ana home, but that we’re on their, and the LA soccer map is most flattering.