Major League Soccer's purchase of Chivas USA from Jorge Vergara and his wife, Angelica Fuentes, caused a stir across the league when announced Thursday.
Including, understandably, in the locker room of the Goats' archrival.
The LA Galaxy, who have shared StubHub Center with Chivas since Vergara bought into MLS for the 2005 season, happily greeted the news with hope that it would enable Southern California's other club to strengthen its foundation, grow its fan base and enjoy greater success.
“I think it's great that someone else is going to get involved with the team and hopefully turn it around for the best,” Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez told reporters on Friday. “We want to see them do well. I don't want them to do bad every single year. We want them to be successful so the league can continue to grow and, obviously, so we can keep on having some great games. The fans love our games against each other.”
Chivas will remain in Los Angeles, MLS Commissioner Don Garber said, and the league is moving forward with plans for a new stadium for the club, with an emphasis on the LA Sports Arena site next to the Coliseum and controlled by USC. Garber said the league hopes to find a local owner by the end of the year.
Chivas will rebrand once a permanent owner is found and the club's Mexican culture – from their association with CD Guadalajara – could change entirely. The Galaxy don’t think that will have a major impact on the Super Clasico rivalry.
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“There will always be a rivalry,” defender A.J. DeLaGarza told reporters. “If there are two teams in the same city, you're so close to them – and they still have the same guys. ... You want to see a better turnout for them.
“That way when we do play them, it's a bigger rivalry. My first couple of years, it was packed crowds, sellouts when we played them. And now they have tarps [at Chivas home games covering seats behind the north goal and the upper deck on the east stands], and even when we're the home team, it's not an entire sellout. We need to get the rivalry back.”
Head coach Bruce Arena said his “guess is it's going to be good for the league, going to be good for LA. ... Obviously, they've had a tough go of it. I'm sure with a new ownership group and potentially a new stadium, it's going to be win-win for everyone.”