There has been no announcement, as yet, of a sale of Chivas de Guadalajara and Chivas USA, although reports continue to swirl about the move. Here's the latest:
The Spanish-language press have really hit upon the angle that Carlos Slim, the purported buyer, is not interested in Chivas USA, and that has held up negotiations. This article from Cancha.com (Spanish) reports that, but there's a paywall, so I can't see any more of that one. Still, you probably get the gist. They are mooting the asking price is $600 million by Jorge Vergara, but Slim only wants to pay $400 million, and he doesn't want CUSA. What. An. Impasse.
Well-known American soccer writer Grant Wahl tweeted this out about an hour ago:
MLS commissioner Don Garber e-mails: "Absolutely nothing" to reports of Chivas USA sale/move.— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) May 17, 2013
Well, that clears that up.
A few more tidbits are on SI.com, including speculation that the team could still be seized from Vergara if the deal doesn't go through, and possible relocation sites of San Diego, Las Vegas and Phoenix.
Aaron Stoller, an East Coast-based blogger and podcast host, wrote a post on his website today that Chivas USA will be moved to "Florida or the Southeast." I wouldn't think a D.C. United fan would be so glib about discussing the "fun" of relocation, but maybe that's just me:
But on to the fun part, and that's examining where CUSA could move. Here's what I know about the cities/regions that are currently in play.
- The league's preference is for this team to end up in the Southeast with Miami, Orlando, and Atlanta as apparent options. The Southeast was described to me as "the likely landing spot."
- Florida has recently seen some public funding issues arise in both markets but that has not taken them off the board.
- MLS seems more amenable to letting a team share an NFL stadium, especially a newly-contructed (Atlanta) or renovated one (Miami), than they have in prior expansion efforts.
- I also learned that there is an additional darkhorse city that has emerged and held recent talks with MLS. My source compared it to Dave Checketts' group out of Salt Lake City that surprised observers by beating out Seattle and Oklahoma City to join the league in 2004. I believe I know what that darkhorse city is and am running down additional sources to try to confirm it.
- I can tell you with certainty that the darkhorse city is not Sacramento.
And in case you hadn't heard, David Beckham retired yesterday. He has a clause in his contract that says he can own an MLS club. About 9,000,000 (just an estimate) people have speculated that he could essentially be handed the Chivas USA franchise to do with it as he pleased, and among said speculation, he would definitely move the team out of LA.
So, a lot of speculation, and a handful of reports. No definitive action as of yet. We'll continue monitoring the situation.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!