Chivas USA's Rodriguez Eyes "Tangible Difference" To Win Over Fans
MLS Chivas USA President Nelson Rodriguez "has been busy trying to turn around" the club and is "unequivocal about the team's goal this year: qualify for the playoffs," according to James Barragan of the L.A. TIMES. Despite the league’s commitment to a second team in L.A., Rodriguez said that he is "aware of the difficult task of making the Chivas USA franchise successful once it’s rebranded." Rodriguez said, "I had no delusions that change in ownership group or my or Coach (Wilmer) Cabrera’s arrival was going to suddenly signal a change. The fans need to see a tangible difference and it will take time to win them over." Rodriguez added, "We have to do more to have more fans in our games ... that’s not just marketing though, that’s being a good neighbor in the community. That’s involvement of our players and staff in important community events and sometimes leading those events." Rodriguez said of the team drawing only 8,320 fans for its season opener against the Fire on Sunday, "Just look around. We’re nowhere near where we want to be." Rodriguez said that the team "will look to be an alternative to the Galaxy." Rodriguez: "We’re going to look to become that alternative and be very inclusive in the process and very representative of the community in which we live in. But there’s no magic wand. ... It’s going to be a process" (L.A. TIMES, 3/10).