Football

Chivas USA are wasting a slot in the growing MLS

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To claim that Chivas USA are pointless in their current state would be false.

This is because the franchise has two very clear functions this year. Firstly, they're amply providing employment for the cast-offs of Major League Soccer's more significant clubs. Their other task, meanwhile, has been to grant playing time to the immensely talented, but inexperienced, Erick Torres - a loanee from partner club CD Guadalajara.

Mauro Rosales, Marvin Chavez and Nigel Reo-Coker have all arrived in 2014 from more credible competitors, though the former has since earned a move to Vancouver Whitecaps FC, despite never hitting the heights of his Seattle Sounders FC career.

Season of struggles

These players may boast notable names, but their performances have failed to live up to expectations. In a division often dismissed as "a retirement league", the Goats have become a retirement team.

On top of these struggles, a weak 2013 roster was hampered further by recalls for a number of Guadalajara stars. A partnership with the Mexican giants may have its minor benefits, but long-term there are few gains.

One such temporary profit has stemmed from the form of Torres. Having seen him net seven times towards the back end of the previous campaign, the Los Angeles outfit managed to secure "Cubo" for another season.

One bright light

The 21-year-old has continued to impress in an at-times horrific Chivas side this year, and has earned a first Mexico cap in the process. However, he has now reached a level where in, all likelihood, his spell with Los Rojiblancos won't be extended beyond the fall.

While these two purposes at least provide relative entertainment to both fans and neutrals, the competition for MLS places should threaten the Goats' ten-year association with the league.

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Previous generations may have seen teams disbanded due to a lack of funding or interest, but with the division allowing only 24 entrants before the end of the decade, there will be pressure for Chivas to prove their worth.

MLS development

After the current 19 competitors, New York City FC, Orlando City and an Atlantan representative have been confirmed. That leaves two spots, with David Beckham's Miami in pole position to take the first. Then, there's Minneapolis, Sacramento, San Antonio and Las Vegas vying for the final berth.

With the passion, ambition and expectant crowds on offer among that throng, the MLS have a tough ask to select one successful project, and unfortunately for supporters of Los Rojiblancos, their expulsion could ease the pressure.

If soccer in the United States is to retain its upward curve, the likes of Chavez and Reo-Coker must find a home elsewhere, rather than settle for a lowly suitor. As for Torres, there would be no shortage of interested parties if another star of his ilk was in need of a destination north of the border.

Harsh as it may be, it is becoming increasingly difficult to justify Chivas USA's position in a nation that is doing its very best to fall in love with the sport.

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Topics:
Chivas USA
Football
MLS

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