The Saint City Post

APRIL 7, 2015

The Case for Pro Soccer in Santa Ana

Some people are aware that Santa Ana has been part of conversations to bring pro soccer to town, for years. There have been clubs, mainly minor league clubs playing at Santa Ana Stadium over the years, and some pro clubs have scouted and developed players here, that is well known by now.

Recently, there’s been fan involvement with trying to bring Major League Soccer to town, but that’s a broken record. Major League Soccer doesn’t have sufficient interest in Santa Ana for having their second LA area franchise play here. Regardless of their level of, or lack of, interest in Santa Ana, this city is a tremendous opportunity for a pro soccer club that doesn’t have to play in that league, that major soccer league or “MLS.”

But in order for a pro soccer club to find success in Santa Ana, some things have to happen. The first is finding a deep-pocketed owner with a net worth of $20 million USD, that is according to the United States Soccer Federation’s regulations. The second is, assuming there’s a committed owner, is repairing Santa Ana Stadium. Our stadium currently qualifies as a Division 2 stadium with its 9,000 seat capacity. U.S. Soccer categorizes a stadium of 5,000 as Division 2 and one of 15,000 as Division 1. The problem with getting to Division 1 is Major League Soccer, that requires a $100 million dollar entry fee. Their entry fees skyrocketed in the last 10 years and their league is closed, not allowing entry without buying in. They’re structured like the NBA and the NFL. In fact, MLS is comprised of some NBA, MLB and NFL shareholders, thus their league is closed, which differs from soccer leagues all over the world.

The Case of the Orange County Blues

The Orange County Blues of the United Soccer League (Division 3), that play in Irvine, are arguably out of touch with Santa Ana. I don’t see them marketing anywhere here, like what’s expected of a “professional” club. And now the pressure is higher for them to deliver given that their league, the USL, wants Division 2 status, which requires the Blues to have an at least 5,000 seat venue. When you look at the current Division 2 league, the North American Soccer League, you see their clubs bombard their communities with billboard ads, tv ads, and they successfully create community. That is not the case with the OC Blues.

Here’s a team touting itself as the county’s pro team but that has failed to create the proper fan experience and culture, the likes of a Charleston Battery or Carolina RailHawks. Santa Ana is perfect for soccer supporter culture with the downtown attractions being just minutes away on foot from Santa Ana Stadium, but no club has managed to connect the dots. The Blues played a match at Santa Ana Stadium, against Atlético Marte of El Salvador, but that was it. According to a supporter of that club, our stadium may likely turn out to be too costly for their ownership to lease for a season, but that is compounded by their failure at connecting and forming community with Santa Ana. Asking the mayor’s office to do a press release or leaving it up to what little fans that club has to do the footwork and heavy lifting when it comes to marketing, is not the way to capture Santa Ana. So because of OC Blues’ unwillingness to effectively engage with Santa Ana, this market is lost to them.

The Next Steps: Stadiums, Fields

Santa Ana is deserving of a pro club because of the amount of interest there is in the sport here. Just look at the leagues playing on weekends, the kids and young adults, the families that attend their matches, the people watching Liga MX at any given restaurant and I’ve only painted a small painting of the soccer experience is like in Santa Ana. Lola Gaspar started some soccer-viewing traditions of their own involving the World Cup, El Clásico between Real Madrid and Barcelona and more. Imagine gathering at Lola’s or The Good Beer Co, or at whatever point in the downtown prior to or after matches. That’s possible in Santa Ana, because we have it all, with or without Major League Soccer.

So if I were a soccer-loving multi-muillionaire wanting a team in Santa Ana I’d skip joining both Major League Soccer and the United Soccer League. I’d join the North American Soccer League, renovate Santa Ana Stadium, and establish a long-term partnership with the city to do maintenance on the field at the stadium, ideally replacing the artificial turf with with real grass. The stadium could still accommodate Mater Dei and others, like it has in years past. But what’s great about soccer’s potential in Santa Ana is that a team could play elsewhere in the city, so long as the venue can seat 5,000. There’s the possibility of expanding the capacity at Centennial Park, or at Santa Ana College’s track field, with the right partnership.

Identity

We need to look at our history in order to forge an identity. Who are we? A historic city. We adopted the “Saint” moniker that’s been with us since 1889, the year that Santa Ana High School was founded. We’ve been “Dons” since 1915, the year that Santa Ana College was founded. We adopted “Saint” and “Don” because of our Hispanic and californio heritage. The Saint fits with the landscape, the name of this and many other places in modern-day Southern California, what was once known as Alta California. The Don comes from the rancher period, that of the hacendados. We inherited our name from the Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana, the Santiago Ranch within the Santa Ana Valley. The valley got its name, Valle de Santa Ana, in 1769. That’s how deep we go back. This is part of who we are.

So given our history the following name proposals come forth:

Santiago F.C. (Football Club), Santa Ana Saints F.C., Santa Ana Dons F.C., Santa Ana F.C. Santaniegos FC

We do ourselves a great service by honoring our name and identity and by not accepting something offered to us in the form of an “Orange County Blue,” whatever that is. To say blue or blues is to cause confusion or reference to Chelsea F.C. of England, and it is blasphemy to be a wannabe club of a foreign club. Ask supporters what they think about Chivas USA’s associations with Guadalajara, and what they think of “New York City FC’s” involvement with Manchester City. A santaniego/a is a person from Santa Ana, any city named Santa Ana.

Epilogue, a Chant:

We are Saints and Dons

We’re the Lords of Saint City

October 13, 2014

Santa Ana Winds FC Blow Past OC Crew

Las Lomas (Irvine, CA). Defending UPSL Champions Santa Ana Winds FC blew past rivals OC Crew 4-2 on Sunday, October 12 at Las Lomas Community Park in Irvine. The Winds were spearheaded by a hat trick from striker Cyrille Njomo and a skillful gol olímpico (goal from a corner kick) and an assist by striker Joshua Galvez.

It was a back-and-forth match with the Winds opening up the scoring only to go down with 2 unanswered goals. Despite being down due to costly errors in defense, the Winds through their striker Njomo were resolute and tied the match a 2, followed by a counterattack resulting in a Gálvez to Njomo assist to go up 3-2, and finally a perfect bending shot from a corner kick resulting in a goal with a final score of 4-2.

Player of the Match: Cyrille Njomo

For more follow the club on Twitter, Facebook, Google + and YouTube. Coming soon to other social media favorites.

www.santaanawindsfc.com
www.upslsoccer.com

MAY 20, 2014

Mexico Sends its Strongest-Ever Team to World Cup in Brazil

El Tri will arrive in Brazil with their strongest team ever assembled, at least on paper. Never before has Mexico gone to a World Cup after having won an olympic gold medal. This year Mexico sends nine olympic champions from the London games in 2012. This is a team that defeated Brazil in that 2012 London final, where the Brazilians had the likes of Neymar and Hulk on their squad, their’s was no B team.

This Mexican squad looks good on paper, but the obvious concern for them is the disastrous World Cup Qualifiers of 2013, that almost left them out of the cup. But the 2013 qualifying squad wasn’t managed by Luis Fernando Tena, who coached El Tri to their first-ever olympic gold medal. Some argue, including this writer, that Tena should have been put at the helm of the 2013 squad, up to this day. But he graciously stepped aside to allow Chepo de la Torre, who won a 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup, a chance to save qualification and his job. That proved to be too risky, as players and morale went out the window under De la Torre. Out went Carlos Vela, and for a time Marco Fabián wasn’t called up during qualifiers.

Now that 2012 Olympic Champion squad, very wisely, is being reassembled and reinforced with players playing in Europe, which has never occurred in the history of the Mexican National Team.

In addition to the olympic championship, there are players that experienced winning the 2011 Gold Cup, and Liga MX Champions taken from Clubs Toluca, América and León. As the Adidas Brazuca feature on Mexico says, it’s truly now or never for Mexico to excel in a World Cup, as they’ve never sent as strong a side to the cup until now.

Mexican Olympic Champions at London 2012:

Goalkeeper

José de Jesús Corona (Cruz Azul)

Defenders:

Carlos Salcido (Tigres)
Diego Reyes (Porto)

Midfielders

Miguel Ponce (Toluca)
Marco Fabián (Cruz Azul)
Héctor Herrera (Porto)

Strikers

Giovanni Dos Santos (Villareal)
Oribe Peralta (Santos Laguna / América)
Raúl Jiménez (América)

2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup Champions

Rafael Márquez (León)
Andrés Guardado (Bayer Leverkusen)
Javier Hernández (Manchester United)
Héctor Moreno (Espanyol)
Alfredo Talavera (Toluca)
Guillermo Ochoa (Ajaccio)

Liga MX Champions

Paul Aguilar (América)
Isaác Brizuela (Toluca)
Miguel Layún (América)
Luis Montes (León)
Carlos Peña (León)
Francisco Rodríguez (América)
José Juan Vásquez (León)

It should be noted that Guillermo Ochoa didn’t see too much action during the 2011 Gold Cup, except for a match against El Salvador in the group stage. Alfredo Talavera then played the
remaining two games of the group stage and the subsequent quarterfinal, semifinal and final matches.

Alan Pulido has Mexico U23 experience but not a championship title. However, he made the final cut by demonstrating an explosive, streaking form in recent games, in which he scored a hat-trick, and a game-tying goal against the United States to end their 2-0 hegemony and streak over Mexico.

MAY 17, 2014

Chivas USA to Televise Rest of 2014 Games on Santa Ana’s KDOC

So the Chivas USA to Santa Ana saga continues. Chivas USA have a “home,” if you will in Santa Ana, albeit on the KDOC TV network, which is headquartered on Grand street.

The club televised a portion of their games on KDOC last season, and they’ve renewed this season, which leaves us wondering if they’ll be back on KDOC next season under an expected new ownership group and brand. Signs point to Chivas USA being re-branded as either Los Angeles Football Club or Los Angeles Soccer Club, as Major League Soccer acquired the rights to these trademarks and registered them with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Chivas USA, in some form, did come to Santa Ana after all, only not complete with a stadium and complex for their youth academy. At least Santa Ana had some role to play in support of the club prior to its re-branding, with regard to their local tv deal. And Santa Ana may remain synonymous with the club going forward with a new start in 2015.

Daniel Antúnez Scores in U.S. Open Cup

PORTLAND. Former Chivas USA midfielder Daniel Antúnez of Santa Ana, CA scored a game-winning goal for his new team Arizona United versus the Portland Timbers U-23 team.

Antúnez missed most of last season due to a knee injury suffered in a match at the Home Depot Center against the Colorado Rapids. Last season Antúnez started to get more and more minutes eventually becoming a starter while earning the trust of former coach José Luis Sánchez Solá, aka Chelís.

The U.S. Open Cup is the longest-running soccer tournament in this country, pitting nationwide amateur and professional leagues in competition. Arizona United are in their inaugural year in the United Soccer Leagues Professional Division. The Portland Timbers Under 23 team, an affiliate of Major League Soccer’s Portland Timbers, competes in the USL Premier Development League.

The match from Portland is archived in its entirety on YouTube. The action begins at the 18’45″ mark:

Santa Ana Winds FC get a new logo… and?

The Santa Ana Winds Football (Soccer) Club, formerly of the National Premier Soccer League, have resurfaced with a much-improved, and sorely needed, team crest. But they still don’t have a home field in Santa Ana proper. Instead, this team plays some of its “home” games in Aliso Viejo. And the team still doesn’t have its online presence down. Their dot com is inoperable and there’s no Twitter account. It’s shameful. Why re-brand if you’re not going to set your brand to market? The point is to project it and have a presence, make a mark, get on the map, get on the radar.

Santa Ana is flooded with soccer leagues, seemingly all competing with each other for fields. Santa Ana’s Parks & Recreation Director Gerardo Mouet said that these leagues tend to fight over Santa Ana’s Soccer Complex at Centennial Park, for example.

Because of this lack of organized soccer leagues in Santa Ana, it makes it difficult to unite behind a common goal, one that ideally has a pro-level or semi-pro team representing the city. No, it doesn’t have to be a Major League Soccer club, but perhaps one in the NPSL or maybe even the NASL. The truth is, any better-organized club at whatever level bearing the city’s name is better than the scattered, bickering teams and unaffiliated amateur leagues that aren’t really thinking of forming behind a common Santa Ana name, which would only be good for the city’s projection and brand.

Santa Ana could have an elevated profile in competitive soccer if the field at Centennial were better utilized and marketed. There’s also the new field at Santa Ana College, which is available for rent. But there’s been no team, or business plan, that has effectively identified with, and led to cementing a semi-pro to professional level soccer team bearing Santa Ana’s name.

What we have instead is one giant squandered opportunity given all of the talent here combined with the lack of a team with the inability to capture the Santa Ana soccer market.

APRIL 13, 2014

Piojo Herrera Coming to Santa Ana

The Mexican Men’s National Team coach Miguel “El Piojo” Herrera is coming to Santa Ana for this city’s Cinco de Mayo celebration downtown.

Herrera is scheduled to appear for an hour according to the city’s Parks and Recreation Director, Gerardo Mouet. The exact time and day is yet to be confirmed.

Santa Ana has traditionally hosted many “A level” Mexican celebrities for its Cinco de Mayo and Fiestas Patrias in September, the likes of Juan Gabriel, Lupita D’Alessio, Moderatto, Aleks Syntek, Miguel Rodarte, Héctor Jiménez and many more.

The tradition continues this year with the highly visible Miguel Herrera.

20140413-162117.jpg

APRIL 12, 2014

Reality Check Time for MLS & Chivas USA

“L.A.S.C.!,” exclaimed the Black Army supporters group in section 138 repeatedly minutes before the kickoff to the 1st edition of the 2014 Clásico Angelino, aka SuperClásico, last Sunday.

Spirits were high in the stands and in section 101, where the Union Ultras take center stage.

But motivation was not enough combined with an awfully deficient Chivas USA squad that failed to string together passes and generate offense.

There is support from people that want an alternative MLS option in LA. The 2014 version of Chivas USA are that team that the league is trying to build to manufacture an LA derby like the league wants to do in NY, but that team on Sunday was completely erased from the field against the Galaxy. And this is insightful if not ominous. And those games against the Galaxy are the ones that this second LA side needs to win above the rest, save for a playoff game or two, if they ever return to the postseason.

Will a rebranded Chivas USA continue to disappoint when matched against the Galaxy fast forward to 2015 or beyond? The first sign, this most recent loss to the Galaxy, is telling.

Maybe it’s the years that the Galaxy have playing on their home pitch, their familiarity with it, that has them dominating Chivas, or most other teams anyway. They have more continuity as a unit and under one coach and one style of play. Speaking of which, the Galaxy’s display on Sunday, their wide style of grounded passing, reminded me very much of CF Pachuca under coach Enrique “Ojitos” Meza, the team that won a Mexican league, 2 CONCACAF Cups, the Copa Sudamericana, and a SuperLiga, this last one they took from the Galaxy.

And it’s the absolute opposite at Chivas USA. There have been 5 coaches at Chivas USA (Preki, Vásquez, Fraser, Real, Cabrera) during Bruce Arena’s time at the Galaxy. What is MLS to do to fix the problem of its 2nd LA franchise? Are they going to continue hitting the reset button every season with a different coach and staff? Again, it’s said that MLS has been steering Chivas USA, in part, years before it’s acquisition of the club.

The team shown on Sunday is not the caliber opponent needed to take on the Galaxy and attract an LA audience and build a market around it. Maybe it was coach Cabrera’s lineup, that started with speedy left-winger Leandro Barrera on the bench, which was a odd. The midfield was a disaster, as 2nd year player Carlos Álvarez is not the seasoned midfield orchestrator and decision-maker that he needs to be. He tends to complicate himself more than necessary when in possession, thus losing it.

The kind of team needed to remain in LA needs a long-term process. This explains why Cabrera was brought on, in part to instill his philosophy in the reputable Chivas USA Academy. He’s stated that he doesn’t emphasize possession…well surely the match on Sunday showed his team deplete of ideas of how to attack when on possession.

To MLS’s credit, they’ve been very patient with their 2nd LA franchise over the years. But now, again, a new process is in order, one drawing from an academy system and one that, hopefully, MLS has all the patience in the world to see develop into an ideal franchise before other expansion-hopeful cities come knocking. It’s back to the drawing board, yet again, with Chivas USA and or Los Angeles FC/SC.

APRIL 4, 2014

Goats for Sale: A Preview to the Clásico Angelino

Chivas USA President Nelson Rodríguez spoke during halftime of the NY-CHV game last Sunday to address matters of the club’s future and current state.

Rodríguez is an optimist and he’s convinced of what the club can do. That’s great. That’s what this organization needs. His mission is to turn Chivas USA into an attractive, winning club, in order for the league to sell it.

But the club’s president is unaware of any buyers, and this is a troubling revelation. He defers those questions to the higher-ups at MLS HQ. The league stated at its point of acquisition of the club that it would lead negotiations for landing a stadium for Los Angeles FC/SC. This is also a very critical detail in this whole handling of Chivas USA. It is accepted that the league has been making decisions for Chivas USA going back a few years. Chivas USA had some options for building a stadium in the LA area, but it is known that the league wants a stadium at Exposition Park, at the site of the LA Sports Arena, which is expected to be demolished by its new owners, the University of Southern California. This reveals more of the league’s bullish attitude about its preferred locations for its franchises. It is said that in this era of “MLS 3.0″ that the league wants to have urban core stadiums instead of suburban ones, located away from downtown districts, etc. This, in part, helps to explain why nothing happened with the Chivas to Santa Ana proposal some years back, which was the most realistic possibility for the club back then, and the closest they got to getting real political support.

The league wanted a stadium for NYCFC in Queens and couldn’t deliver. The status of NYCFC’s stadium plan is currently non-existent and is one gigantic question mark. MLS wants a stadium at their first choice, Port Miami, for Beckham’s investment group, but the status of that plan is far from substantial. It’s this same attitude that the league is applying for LAFC/SC. MLS is leading talks with USC, or at least they’re trying to revive those talks, because the league wants a stadium there to serve its interest and profile first and foremost. To boil it down, MLS forcibly wants to manufacture two teams in NY and LA, maybe because they’re feeling the heat brought on by the NASL. MLS is probably right not to underestimate them.

So MLS is at the point of having to secure the location they want at USC’s Expo Park before they find a buyer. The league is essentially telling a potential buyer where to build.

On the upcoming Clásico Angelino

Last season Chivas USA had more LA-born and bred talent on its roster than the LA Galaxy did. Fast forward and Chivas USA have been completely dismantled this season, with a club being built to resemble models of previous seasons. Gone is the emphasis on a regional identity, as this time around, Chivas have 3 Argentinians–something never done before at Chivas USA. The three Argentinians Leandro Barrera, Mauro Rosales and Agustín Pelletieri now fill the spots of Bryan de la Fuente, Eric Avila (who was pushed back to right defensive back), and “Chore” Mejía who was sent to Puebla.

These drastic measures were taken in order to at least try to build a more competitive (and ultimately more valuable monetarily) club in order to attract a buyer in the LA area, who’ll commit to building a stadium at the league’s preferred site at Exposition Park.

Sporting wise, the club currently known as Chivas USA (to be named Los Angeles FC or Los Angeles SC) are on better footing and are more competitive than last year’s model. Chivas USA went toe-to-toe with last season’s Supporter’s Shield winner (the team with the best overall record) in the New York Red Bulls just last Sunday and are poised to give the Galaxy a hard time just as well. Actually, Chivas USA stayed in some close games with strong teams last season, but suffered due to inconsistency caused by frequently redrawn starting lineups and injuries. The task this season will be for the club to keep a consistent lineup in order to get consistent results. Four games in, Chivas have only lost once, which is a good sign.

Chivas USA have to win the games that matter the most, particularly those against the Galaxy, and never more so than this season, as odd as that may sound. Now is the time for Chivas USA to deliver because the club’s future is at stake. What owner is going to buy a broken franchise failing to sell tickets and build them a stadium on top of that, on prime real estate land? Results matter more than ever now for this club and a sense of duty is felt from the club’s president Nelson Rodríguez to the coach and players. Truly, Chivas USA’s 2014 campaign is a balancing tight rope act if ever there was one. But they do look more solid and will hopefully keep the form they started with throughout the season.

APRIL 1, 2014

The Mystery of Chivas Guadalajara Licensing, LLC

Originally published on March 14, 2014 at SoccerNewsday.com.

Has Major League Soccer been doing business as Chivas Guadalajara Licensing?

Who exactly is, or was, behind Chivas Guadalajara Licensing LLC, the corporation that registered the marks Los Angeles SC and Los Angeles FC with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office?

At first glance it may seem that a corporation with that name belongs to the former ownership group, but not necessarily.

It turns out Chivas Guadalajara Licensing, LLC, was an entity first formed in the state of Delaware on Aug. 2, 2005. This same entity was later registered in California 3 months later.

It turns out that Major League Soccer was also incorporated in the State of Delaware on July 24, 1999. Four months later, MLS LLC was registered in the state of New York on Nov. 13, 1999.

Also significant in this matter is the registering of Soccer United Marketing LLC, first in the State of Delaware on Feb. 22, 2002 then in the State of New York on January 14, 2003. This is the marketing arm of MLS that promoted matches in the U.S. like Chivas Guadalajara vs. Barcelona years back, and those involving the Mexican Men’s National Team.

What we get is this pattern of entities first being incorporated and registered in Delaware, followed by registration in other states, all roads and signs point there.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office’s listing for Chivas GDL LLC has Alan Blum as its attorney of record. A search for him reveals that he’s based in Manhattan.

What gets more intriguing is learning that Blum is the listed trademark attorney for MLS also, in MLS’ USPTO listings. Is it mere coincidence that the entities Chivas GDL LLC and MLS share the same attorney? Given that this attorney is so closely linked to both entities, is there a possibility that the league was acting as Chivas Guadalajara LLC through a fictitious name/DBA?

A number of questions arise. Was the registering of Los Angeles SC and Los Angeles FC done cooperatively with MLS and Vergara? Yes, in part. Chivas GDL LLC looks like a joint venture between the league and the former ownership, but done through a fictitious name, because of the technicalities in licensing the Chivas brand.

Oh, and guess who is SUM’s trademark attorney? That’s right, Blum.

The MLS/Chivas Guadalajara Licensing LLC relationship wasn’t solely for marketing Chivas USA. That entity had U.S. promotional and commercial rights to the brands Club Deportivo Guadalajara S.A. de C.V. (Sociedad Anónima de Capital Variable), Club Guadalajara and Rebaño Sagrado. Then the entity trademarked Los Angeles SC and Los Angeles FC. This gets us to the next obvious question.

What happens to Chivas Guadalajara Licensing LLC now that Vergara was bought out? Garber said that the LASC and LAFC marks were dead, but the USPTO listed them as live before, during and after his stating the opposite. The marks were never dead – the catch is that they were “dead” to the entity Chivas Guadalajara Licensing LLC after the Vergara buyout, but live to MLS LLC. All that was needed was a transfer of those marks to MLS.

What’s also insightful is that the corporation in question is listed as a domestic one and first in the state of Delaware. So the Chivas GDL Licensing owner is not (was not) foreign-based, where Vergara’s main operation is, foreign. For example, the Chivas Regal brand has an owner (Chivas Holdings) listed in the USPTO and based in the UK.

It looks like Major League Soccer was already planning to acquire the marks Los Angeles SC and Los Angeles FC, but first through the fictitious name Chivas Guadalajara Licensing LLC.

MARCH 22, 2014

Disillusionment with Major League Soccer

Major League Soccer is starting to disappoint with the now too-common lip service and hype coming from the higher-ups in charge of the league.

There’s a pattern of contradictory statements made by the league’s commissioner involving the awarding of franchises to ownership groups and cities while ignoring the tantamount criteria of having a soccer stadium in place, prior to the awarding of a franchise.

The league and the commissioner have gone back on those words by allowing the league’s newest team, New York City FC, to enter the league without a stadium, nor a team, nor a youth academy, nor a timetable for a stadium, nor the political support to build a soccer-specific stadium within the 5 NY boroughs.

What’s more, the league failed at capitalizing on the Chivas brand. The demise of Chivas USA was not simply the former ownership’s fault. The Chivas USA plan was part of a package to allow Major League Soccer’s marketing arm, known as Soccer United Marketing, to commercialize and promote the brands Chivas de Guadalajara S.A. de C.V., Club Guadalajara and Rebaño Sagrado in the United States. The league and the Chivas owners did this through the establishing of the joint venture Chivas Guadalajara Licensing, LLC, which was registered in Delaware in 2005. This turned out to be nothing more than hype, even if the original plan was well-intended. Garber later admitted that it was a failure of execution in part by the league.

While many were ecstatic to see Chivas USA sold to the league, some even thinking that this was “the season that changed MLS,” reality quickly set in when it came time to compete in the regional championship, the CONCACAF Champions League. This year, again, MLS clubs failed to advance and earn that coveted international prestige and notoriety that comes with becoming the North American Champion, along with with a ticket to FIFA’s international tournament, the Club World Cup. And every year there is MLS hype about how Mexican teams are withering or accessible (what was said about the 2011 Monterrey-Real Salt Lake Champions League final), and how this could be the year to take it all, and every year there is a blowout suffered to Mexican teams. Not just a blowout, but a real “soccer” clinic–a dismantling and bombardment involving up to 5 and 6 goals.

The shortcomings of MLS are similar to the Mexican Soccer Federation’s in that Mexico has put marketing and hype before the on field national team product. Now MLS has taken a page from that with its marketing entity known as Soccer United Marketing.

The evidence is everywhere; Beckham, Henry, Cahill. All of these players are put before MLS academies are producing enough pro players and getting them first team minutes. One thing is to sign a homegrown talent, it’s another to give a homegrown talent real MLS minutes.

The situation with Beckham’s Miami team to be echoes NYCFC’s. There’s no timetable for a stadium, still there’s political and commercial opposition for the proposed site, and worse is that there’s no name for that Miami club. It’s all talk. Meanwhile, the NASL has 3 pro teams in Florida in Tampa Bay, Ft. Lauderdale and Jacksonville.

Talk is all that MLS to Queens turned out to be, talk is all that Beckham’s Miami is right now, and
talk is all that a second MLS team in LA is as well. These three stadium situations; NYCFC, Miami and LA 2 mirror one another. Why? Because the league wants glitz and glamour first and foremost. The first choice in NY was a failed attempt. Miami doesn’t look anything better and even less does “LA 2″ look realistic at this point. At least Miami has identified an ownership group. In baseball terms MLS has one strike against it with the Queens debacle with two swings left in Miami and LA 2.

“By the way, we’re pretty good at it,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber in reference to building soccer specific stadiums.

“Chivas USA will become a champion and protagonist in MLS,” said Jorge Vergara.

JUNE 9, 2013

Introducing, The Chivatown Post

Hello again. I’m pleased to announce that I’ve joined The Goat Parade at SB Nation, to contribute to their Chivatown Post section.

The Goat Parade is the top independent source for all things Chivas USA, and one of the longest-running. TGP delivers morenews with more frequency including game previews, reviews, coverage of the Chivas Academy, a podcast through a partnership with the What the Flock?, and more.

My thanks to Alicia Rodríguez, managing editor of The Goat Parade and freelance editor to Major League Soccer for allowing me this opportunity.

MAY 7, 2013

Armando Flores Nets Another

CD Chivas USA informs:

It was a positive weekend for Chivas USA’s U15/16, U17/18 and U14 teams. All three Red-and-White youth teams were able to earn huge victories, extending their respective unbeaten streaks.

In USSDA…

Chivas USA’s U15/16 team took a 4-2 win over Real Salt Lake AZ U15/16 on Saturday at Mt. San Antonio College. A hat trick by Jorge Ruiz and a single goal by Ryo Fujii gave the young Goats the ultimate win. Ruiz was able to open the scoreboard in the 8th minute of the match. RSL AZ came back a two minutes later and notched the equalizer for the Arizona team.

Before halftime, Ruiz scored his second of the match and Fujii notched his own. Ruiz came back into the second half and scored early on, but it was not enough for the Goats’ rival. With this weekend’s hat trick, Ruiz has scored 16 goals with the U15/16’s in the 2012/2013 season and at least one goal per game since March 16.

After Saturday’s victory, Chivas USA’s U15/16 team stands firm in first place of the Southwest Division in U.S. Soccer’s Development Academy. The young Goats have also moved up in the playoff berths; the U15/16 moved up two spots to number six, being the team with the top seed in the Western Conference.

Also securing their spot in the USSDA playoffs is Chivas USA’s U17/18 squad. On Saturday, the Red-and-White Academy team earned a 3-2 win over Real Salt Lake AZ U17/18 team. Unsurprisingly, Caleb Calvert, who joined the First Team for training last week, notched the first goal for the Goats, followed by two more goals by SueñoMLS winner Armando Flores and Mario Ortiz. The U17/18 team currently sits in fifth place of the Southwest Division but is securing a spot in the wildcard pool for the USSDA playoffs as the 11th team.

Up next, Chivas USA’s U15/16 & U17/18 teams will match-up against Real So Cal on Saturday, May 11 at Mt. San Antonio College.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s