The Goats are coming!!!!
So yesterday's announcement can hardly be considered news. But it's official now, Chivas USA will share the HDC with LA Galaxy. Already message board posters have been predicting the demise of the Galaxy. I'm reminded of "Chicken Little."
First thing, Chivas owner, Jorge Vargara, wants to limit the play pool. He wants to use only Spanish speaking players. Chivas (the Mexican version) have developed the largest fan-base in Mexico by only ever having Mexican born players on their squad. This has cost them in terms of Championships over the years as other teams have brought in talented players from Central and South America. But there is no team that is better supported in Mexico. The hope is the do the same here in LA.
Vargara and his people have been branding the team since MLS first announced the intentions of the Chivas expansion team. They have given a segment of the population a team to identify with. This is very different from the Galaxy's, "here's your team, support it" attitude. They've brought in token Mexican players who could care less about the team or the league and it's shown as the massive population of Mexican fans have shown up once and then couldn't be bothered to return.
The thing that I noticed about yesterday's big press conference was how Vargara and crew spoke to the fans rather than the sponsors. Take MLS Commissioner, Don Garber's, State of the League address the other day. Every word he spoke was directed at the media and sponsors. Yeah, their money helps keep the league alive, but why not speak to the fans? When Doug Hamilton held a Press Conference at the end of last season to announce Sigi Schmid would return as the Galaxy coach, he really didn't direct his comments to the fans. However, there's Vargara at the HDC with a large number of Chivas fans talking promising them the new team will win Championships. Hamilton seems more worried about just playing 'attractive soccer' and keep sponsors happy. Here's an idea, take care of the fans so they pack the stadium and the sponsors will find you Mr. Hamilton.
Of course, Galaxy season ticket holders may have noticed that the Galaxy may be taking note. I've been a season ticket hold for a while and for the first time, I've actually been sent a questionnaire asking my opinion on how well things are being run off the pitch.
Well, it's not the end of the world for Galaxy fans. Actually, I'm a believer that competition is good. Now Hamilton and his staff will need to actually pay attention to what their customers (fans) want and quit giving excuses. That's what capitalism is all about.
As for what goes on game wise, well, Chivas USA have already announced that 2 aging Mexican stars will be part of their squad. Galaxy fans only need to remember Jorge Campos, Carlos Hermosillo and Luis Hernandez to see how effective that can be.
It's still too early to predict that "the Sky is falling."