Last week, Chivas USA hosted a party for the club's Supporters Groups, the Black Army 1850 and the Union Ultras. Following the party, there was quite a fuss kicked up about some of the comments made by incoming club President Jose David on twitter, so I decided to see if I could get some first-hand accounts of the event.
Members of the Black Army were among those objecting to some comments by David, so I asked the group to give me their perspective on the event. They told me that the current front office hosted the party for the Supporters Groups (which was held at Señor Fish in Downtown Los Angeles), and it was generally a "great little party." Current General Manager Jose Domene spoke to the group, thanking the fans for their support, among other speakers.
The Black Army said the tenor of the event changed when David spoke to the group, and they said he gave the following quote: "Mexican owners finally own their Mexican team." Members of the Black Army, who have been very vocal in their belief that Chivas USA is first and foremost an American club, booed and shouted at David in response. When BA President Angel Mendoza had the chance to speak, he did not discuss Chivas' poor 2012 season (who would want to talk about that, really?) but instead used it as an opportunity to make the group's philosophy that the team is American first and foremost clear to David, while another member of the group pointed to the disastrous 2005 season for the club, where a heavily Guadalajara-centric philosophy appeared to doom the expansion club.
Rumor has it that David may have left early in response to the criticism from the fans, but that has not been confirmed. I also attempted to get the perspective from the Union Ultras, but as of Monday afternoon I have still not heard from them on the event.
Obviously, it is somewhat unclear where Chivas USA will be heading starting from today, but early indications are that the team will align itself closer with Chivas de Guadalajara. Ultimately, I think most fans want a successful team, but there has to be some skepticism that the new boss will be same as the old boss. It may not hurt for the club to do some market research and see what branding and philosophy will be most effective for a wide swath of groups, from the diehards in the Supporters Groups, to the unaffiliated current fans, to the prospective fans. It appears that the Black Army is unafraid to challenge the new regime from day one, and that can be considered a good thing.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!