Tuesday, September 27, 2016

MLS set to replace Chivas USA with new Los Angeles franchise

October 1, 2014 by  
Filed under MLS

A good news!

Major League Soccer (MLS) is poised to announce the formation of a new Los Angeles franchise that will replace the beleaguered Chivas USA team and whose investors will include Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Peter Guber and Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan, according to the Sports Illustrated website.

MLS in February took control of Chivas USA from Jorge Vergara and Angelica Fuentes, with the aim of selling the franchise to new owners by the end of the year. Sports Illustrated said the new team’s ownership group is expected to be confirmed as soon as next week, when the League’s Board of Governors meets in Los Angeles.

The website added the ownership group that is “almost certain” to secure the team includes Henry Nguyen, Guber, Tan and Tom Penn. Guber is a Hollywood producer and also co-owns NBA basketball team the Golden State Warriors, along with MLB baseball franchise the Dodgers. Malaysian businessman Tan would be a minority owner. His Cardiff team were relegated from the English Premier League last season.

Nguyen is a Vietnamese-American venture capitalist who recently brought the first McDonald’s franchise to Vietnam. Penn is a former NBA executive and analytics expert who has worked at sports broadcaster ESPN.

Sports Illustrated said the fee for the new Los Angeles team, which will likely start play in 2017, is believed to be in excess of $100m (€78.1m), the league record fee that New York City FC paid to join MLS next March. It would be an expansion team, leading to the winding up of Chivas USA.

MLS took control of Chivas USA after commissioner Don Garber admitted that the goal of the team becoming one of the leading football brands in North America had failed to materialise. Vergara and Fuentes controlled the Mexican club Chivas Guadalajara since 2002 and had a 50-per-cent stake in Chivas USA when it was created two years later. In 2012, the pair took operating control of the franchise when they bought out former partners Antonio and Lorenzo Cue.

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