Chivas players unsure if overhaul is solution to team woes
CARSON, Calif. – Chivas USA have been no strangers to uncertainty since Jorge Vergara assumed full ownership of the club in August.
And even though some major pieces began to fall into place this week, it only heightened the sense of an uncertain future for many within the club.
"For me, in the times in my career when I’ve been on successful teams, it’s because we’re going in the same direction together," goalkeeper Dan Kennedy said. "To start rebuilding now, we’d just be wasting our own time. I’m on board to move this thing forward."
The club is two years into the Robin Fraser era, but a report is circulating that he could be replaced by Chivas Guadalajara coach Efraín Flores after the season. A new coach combined with another new front-office member – former Chivas coach and academy director José Luis Real – could mean sweeping changes for the club.
Players are unsure how much impact both Real and new team president José David will have on the roster, but they're unwilling to hit the panic button.
"We have to have faith," Kennedy said. "I’m not even sure I’ve shaken hands with [Real], and to pass judgement is far too premature and just not fair, to see the impact that our new president and director of soccer operations will have. Time will tell."
With or without Fraser, changes will be made, but if the team does look elsewhere for leadership then the change could be more swift, more drastic and likely unwelcomed.
"I don’t know what blowing it up would solve," forward Alejandro Moreno said. "To be fair, I think that as many lineups as we’ve put together it seems we’ve tried in so many different ways to make it work. You make of it what you will. I’m not sure blowing anything up is the solution."
Staying the course would be a viable option, players said. A glance atop the conference standings will speak to that.
"Look at where Kansas City was a year-and-a-half ago," Kennedy said. "I think they were one of the worst teams in the league, and look at where San Jose was last season, just last season. To say that everyone needs to be scratched and we need to start anew is unfair and just unrealistic, because I think that’s just impossible."
Change might be necessary given the club's season – a last-place finish, a league-low 22 goals heading into Sunday's season finale and no wins since July – but it could prove a setback to make sweeping changes, as the club did following the 2009 and 2010 seasons.
"In the five years I’ve been here, this has happened almost three times," Kennedy said. "When I first got here, we were a really strong team with a massive core, and as my years have gone on here, more changes happened, and that has been broken down. Now we’re just trying to re-establish ourselves, so we really do need to identify that core."
Luis Bueno covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.