Chivas USA owner Jorge Vergara has been surprisingly available in recent weeks, as he's made some of the Spanish-language media rounds and discussed Chivas USA. A few weeks after going on Republica Deportiva and, among other things, blaming the Cue brothers for ruining Chivas USA until his return last year, Vergara has returned to those statements, and made plenty of others in a new interview.
Vergara spoke with Hoy Los Angeles' Eduard Cauich, who is really doing great work lately in regards to Chivas USA. The entire article from the interview is available here in Spanish, and there's an excerpted version in English available here. Still, the English version doesn't even really scratch the surface of what Vergara discussed regarding the Goats.
Among the highlights...
Vergara once again preaches patience and stresses that there is a plan in place and it will take time to reach fruition. He blames the Cue brothers and Robin Fraser for building such a terrible team last season (which is a fair point, let's be honest). When asked if the changes this season have been tied to introducing more players of Mexican descent, Vergara points out that no, picking up players like Gabriel Farfan for more than market value while dumping players like Casey Townsend for less than market value was done to change Chivas USA's style of play. Of course, Farfan is now under scrutiny and will likely face sanction from his team for his "style of play" that resulted in a red card, but I don't know, maybe that's what Vergara wants.
Cauich asked if an African American player wanted to play for the team, could he? Vergara said he could, although the statement at the end of it was pretty cryptic, "you're as much of a candidate as any other player in the league." Considering Chivas have only traded for Eric Avila and Gabriel Farfan this year, both Latino players, is that statement just a bit disingenuous, or am I overthinking this? Of course, Vergara also points out that the team is predominantly American, which is true and often ignored by those who only look at race.
Although he didn't call him out by name, Vergara had a real dig at former midfielder Laurent Courtois, cut recently before signing with the LA Galaxy, as one of the reasons why Chivas were so bad last year.
"It bothered me that there was a 35-year-old French player and that nobody at home knew him and he performed very poorly."
For the player who probably had the best regular interactions with fans at the club, that was classy!
Regarding the (first) lawsuit filed against the club, by Teddy Chronopoulos and Dan Calichman, Vergara says they are just looking for money, and discrimination against them can't possibly exist, since Keith Costigan, another white guy, took Calichman's job. Of course, that's actually irrelevant in the former case, but no matter. And no word on the newest lawsuit, by former HR manager Cynthia Craig, though that's likely due to the timing of the interview.
Vergara apparently bought out the Cues last year for $40 million. If the previous ownership arrangement was 50/50 (I'm not sure if it was or not) then the internal valuation of the club would have to be $80 million as of last year, no?
He says Don Garber supports him, although the league wanted him to sell the team, but he can't be forced to sell. I have no idea about the legality of that statement, since I'm sure there's some sort of seizure clause inserted in every pro sports team owner's contract with a league nowadays, especially one run as a single entity like MLS. But Vergara's defiant! Also, he's not changing the team's name, because that's not the problem, the crappy style of play is (he's certainly right about that count, although he seems to be at least somewhat wrong about the first half of that statement).
And more on the stadium front, for the first time since November! Of course, it is couched in the same vague terms, so who knows what's actually happening there:
During the interview, Vergara said the team is close to choosing a new home in Los Angeles and fans there will have better access than they currently have in the StubHub Center. The contract with the Carson stadium ends in 2014.
"We will make a decision very soon, to see which space to build a new stadium," he said.
Yay? We've been told how "close" the team has been to getting a stadium for what, eight years now?
The owner also praises the jobs Paco Palencia and Jose Luis Real are doing with the team, although Cauich astutely points out the terrible record this season. Still, it's not a surprise Vergara would support his current employees - that's what most bosses do, it's just that Vergara goes through employees more than most in his field.
Look, there's plenty more where all that came from. Be sure to check out the original interview, as it is fascinating. We'll keep you posted on any new developments in the meantime.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!