SBD/December 26, 2013/Franchises

MLS Chivas USA Dysfunction Continues As Vergara's Ownership Questioned

Chivas' firing of te Kloese is the latest offseason dismissal by the organization

The “upheaval continues” for Chivas USA, as the organization on Monday “fired” Sporting President Dennis te Kloese, who served in the position for both the MLS club and its Liga MX sister club Chivas de Guadalajara, according to Kevin Baxter of the L.A. TIMES. Chivas USA since September “has not only gotten rid of many of the players it finished last season with, but mercurial owner Jorge Vergara has also sacked” Dir of Soccer Juan Francisco Palencia, coach Jose Luis Real and President Jose David. That all this is “taking place in the middle of Chivas USA's off-season ticket sales push should be embarrassing for the team and the league, which has continued to back Vergara despite the fact he has turned the team into the most dysfunctional franchise in major U.S. professional sports.” This “should be of concern to the league and Commissioner Don Garber.” At a time “when Garber can point to expansion, a leaguewide attendance average that tops figures for both the NBA and NHL and the highest level of play in MLS history, the league's continued growth remains stunted by a poorly run team in its second-largest market.” Selling Chivas USA and “relocating the team ... would both save the franchise and bolster the league.” Unless Vergara “can right the ship quickly,” MLS owners “may soon have to push the reluctant Garber into action” (LATIMES.com, 12/24).

PAYDAY LOAN: In Seattle, Joshua Mayers noted the MLS Sounders “in an expected move” loaned F Clint Dempsey to EPL club Fulham. The loan “will last two months, so Dempsey is expected back for Seattle’s season opener March 8.” The 30-year-old Dempsey “could play as many as eight league games” for Fulham (SEATTLETIMES.com, 12/24).

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