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Vergara: Preki turned down Chicharito
by Paul Kennedy, November 13th, 2012 10:49PM

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TAGS:  chivas usa, mexico, mls

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[MLS SPOTLIGHT: Chivas USA] Eight years after its launch, Chivas USA's owners are looking to return the club to its Chivas de Guadalajara roots. For the first time since taking full control of the club, owner Jorge Vergara -- along with his wife, Angelica Fuentes – held a press conference to go over what's gone wrong and how they intend to fix things. Among other things, Vergara blamed Chivas USA for not seeking help from Chivas de Guadalajara and he intends to have it in MLS Cup within two years.

Vergara stressed that Chivas USA got away from its Mexican philosophy and vowed to reintroduce what worked at Chivas de Guadalajara, which he also owns.

“This is the return of the prodigal son,” said Vergara. “From its inauguration, the plan was to make Chivas USA the son of Chivas de Guadalajara. Along the way, it got away from that and the clubs suffered a divorce in philosophy and structure.”

Exhibit A: Vergara says he offered to send Javier Hernandez on loan from Guadalajara to Chivas USA for one season, but then-Coach Preki declined, saying that Chicharito "wasn’t good enough."

“Chivas USA tried to imitate the style of play from other MLS teams," he said. "They played more physical, the qualities of the U.S. players and they forgot to use the technical advantage and speed of Hispanic players. We didn’t play like they do in the U.S., or Mexico and the failure of that is in this last season.”
 
Vergara said the club had to improve its scouting of players and take full advantage "of the multi-cultural resources in this country. We need to get back to basics and identify talent in Southern California.”

Robin Fraser was dismissed after the 2012 MLS season during which Chivas USA had a 7-18-9 record, its worst since the inaugural campaign.

"Soccer wise, it’s simple,” Vergara added later. “ We need the team to perform on the field, play spectacularly and most importantly, get the wins, be the champion. Our goal is that in the next two years, we get to the MLS Cup final and grow from there.”

No successor to Fraser has been named, though Mexican Efrain Flores has been mentioned as the likely choice.

Vergara said Chivas USA is a club with ties to the Southern California immigrant community, not only Mexicans, but also Colombians, Salvadorans and others.

He said Chivas USA had plans to move into a new stadium. Its current lease with the Home Depot Center has two years to go.

“The thought is that within the next couple of years we will be in a new stadium," said Vergara.

There has been speculation that Chivas USA might move to San Antonio, where the NASL had success in 2012, but Vergara says the club will stay in Angeles.

"In the beginning, we paid an extra fee to be in Los Angeles and that’s where we remain," he said. "This is where we have our fan base and we’re not moving. We have the advantage in Chivas USA of having many nationalities; we can promote players of other nationalities, which by the way, is already happening."



15 comments
  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: November 14, 2012 at 7:53 a.m.
    Chicharito not good enough for MLS? And this guy was a head coach? I wonder how many Chicharitos this guy turned down and deemed as not good enough. I wonder how many are turned down every day in MLS soccer and in USA in general. VERGARA has it right and will succeed but most importantly will discover many "homegrown" talents along the way. MLS needed an owner with this vision and commitment of truly scouting the best players and promoting them like he has done in Mexico quite successfully with Homegrown players. He is spot on with saying that USA has a great pool of technical players so that Chivas USA can play an effective and attractive style.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: November 14, 2012 at 7:55 a.m.
    His success will force other MLS teams and National select teams to tale greater aim at the truly best players USA has to offer. I am now a Chivas USA fan.

  1. Phil Love
    commented on: November 14, 2012 at 8:33 a.m.
    Didn't we hear all this stuff about how Chivas USA was going to play a latin style when they first came into the league? And how there was going to be this deep connection to Chivas Guadalajara? Instead they turned out to be just the other LA team who happens to wear uniforms similar to Chivas Guadalajara. I'll believe all these promises when I see some evidence on the field.

  1. Sam Rogers
    commented on: November 14, 2012 at 8:54 a.m.
    Move the team to San Diego which will still give it SoCal roots but will move it out of the shadow of the Galaxy. If Vergara can find a way to tap into the abundance of talent that is out there in our inner cities no matter what city he finds it, he can make Chivas USA a visionary in US soccer. Our current club setup to a large extent pulls talent from the suburbs and offers little oppoertunity to players from the city centers.

  1. Glenn Maddock
    commented on: November 14, 2012 at 10:31 a.m.
    Yes, we're heard all this before from Chivas. Mexican roots, blah, blah, blah. They tried that, it failed. They have huge egos that wont admit MLS clubs are as talented as Mexican clubs. Different style, but same level. Its a fact. And you've got to move out of LA. If you "base" is 10,000 people after 8 years, you're never going to make it there. San Diego would be good, or San Antonio. Lots of Chivas fans there already and natural rivals with 2 other Texas clubs.

  1. David Huff
    commented on: November 14, 2012 at 11:33 a.m.
    Vergara is full of it, he conveniently forgets that he was one of the two original owners of the team (with Cue), who starved this team of resources and then blames the one decent coach that they had who made the most of the talent he was given to take the team to the playoffs in each of the three years that he was coach. The ownership team of Cue/Vergara has been lackluster at best and the revisionist Vergara doesn't offer anything more. P.S. if concrete plans exist for a new stadium we should have heard about it by now because it takes at least two years to acquire the site, design and construct it after getting necessary government approvals. Vergara appears to be blowing more smoke on the "new stadium" idea we have been hearing for years.

  1. Ric Fonseca
    commented on: November 14, 2012 at 1:06 p.m.
    To David Huff: Don't know where you live, but many of us here in the Los Angeles Area have been hearing about a new soccer-specific only stadium to possibly being built where the current LA Arena (next to USC) currently stands. With USC fully in control of the LA Coliseum, it is known that they will agree to host international games, though it will not open up for a permanent soccer tenant. And when Vergara introduced the team to the LA folks, his intent was that, however, the Cue brothers lack of knowledge about the Latino-soccer rich LA community was pathetic and very short-sighted. And now to read that Preki felt Chicharito was "not good enough" tell more than volumes about his utter lack of recognizing talent when it stared at him full in the face. Now did Ferguson of ManU think likewise? As for recognizing the full potential Latino fan base, the persons responsible were, simply NOT familiar with the vagaries of getting to that fan face, from the GM to club operation officers, to even the ticket sales staff. True one can spout whatever they want to, but I feel that Vergara realized this only too late, and is now trying to close the barn doors after the horses escaped. Hope he succeeds! PLAY ON!!!

  1. R.a. Vizcarra
    commented on: November 14, 2012 at 2:12 p.m.
    Talk is cheap. there are many beautiful ideas, but right now, these are just pipe dreams, eight year old pipe dreams that have been mentioned before. There are a few obstacles that might never be overcome. 1)non-mexicans latinos will not root for a mexican team, due to national team loyalties. 2) Even Mexicans who are not Chivas fans will not root for a Chivas team, due to loyalties to their own hometown teams. 3) There is no plan on paper for a new stadium or even some sketches on a napkin, nor is there enough support to warrant such a huge investment. My recommendation, rebrand, rename, forget Chivas. Instead, use a name that is more inclusive, and doesn't appeal to only Mexicans from Chivas Guadalajara. Obviously, even they won't back an imitation team, as evident from their attendance. For example, use an all inclusive name, to appeal to a mass audience, regardless of heritage, like Panamercian FC or something to reflect the city of LA. As an LA native, non-Mexican of latino heritage, I would rather back hated Seattle than any team with such a narrow, foreign identity. Vergara is really arrogant because he just wants to impose his will, rather than do some marketing and see what the locals would support, and will fail, again.

  1. Gordon Hayes
    commented on: November 14, 2012 at 3:59 p.m.
    All MLS coaches and management and all US staff coaches and all top level club coaches are racist and against the hispanic player (what he calls the "truly best players USA has to offer)...blah, blah, blah....don't buy Luis' race-baiting - it is detrimental to everything we all hope for.

  1. Gak Foodsource
    commented on: November 14, 2012 at 8:52 p.m.
    It takes someone special to see Chicharito's talent. Don't forget even Ferguson was questioned for signing him. And give Chicharito and Man United some credit - Chicharito has gotten better every game. But There are two things to note. First, Chicharito's are out there under are very noses, and second, if we can put them in the right environments they can shine.

  1. Ric Fonseca
    commented on: November 15, 2012 at 7:12 p.m.
    To Gordon Hayes: I don't know just where you're coming from saying that Luis is "race baiting." Sad thing is that for some people the truth always hurts. To Gak, thank you for your insight and I agree there are many peas in a pod - lots more Chicharitos though one must first look for them - it ain't that hard! And to R.a. Vizcarra, I have it from an excellent source about the "idea" of a soccer-specific stadium right on the same spot where the LA Sports Arena is now located and it has been so from one almost native of LA of Mexican heritag to another "LA native, non-Mexican of latino (sic) heritage:" ORALE Chavo, apoya a la gente, no te hagas.... ya sabes que!!!

  1. Gordon Hayes
    commented on: November 16, 2012 at 1:09 a.m.
    Ric - you are truly an idiot if you don't think your buddy is a race-baiter. You are too - you all are victims and negative influences on your own race and ethnicity and on the sport of soccer. Stop being so naive and blinded by your hatred and racial divide. Remember when the US beat Mexico recently and you posted what you did? You focused on crying about the ratings and implied the ratings were against the hispanic players (like you always do). Then you hid behind your cowardice and ignorance and hatred for the US and claimed Mexico wasn't fielding their best players like the US was (which they had less regulars than Mexico). You can't simply accept the fact that if someone criticizes a hispanic player that does not make them racist. It's called RACE-BAITING and is as divisive an element as their is in our soccer culture. Maybe if you and Luis had actually played the game it would help your insights. The truth?? You and Luis would not know the truth if it hit you in the face - Luis is a proven pathological liar. What you're saying is that it is 'truth' that Preki and all US coaches have a bias against hispanic players? Because that is what Luis means. Is that what your truth is? Pathetic. Go USA men and women of ANY race and go MLS teams regardless of race!!

  1. David Huff
    commented on: November 16, 2012 at 11:05 a.m.
    @Ric, I also live here in SoCal but apparently don't have the insider knowledge that you possess but I have to say the vast majority of the fanbase (which I lump myself into, having been a season ticket holder for 3 years) has been hearing for years about this 'mythical stadium' (is it going to be in Santa Ana, LA, Irwindale etc.) this is the same old line that Cue/Vergara have been peddling for years. The fact remains that actions speak louder than words and nothing has been done. Vergara has to show that he can really back up "si se puede!" with specific concrete actions. A stadium project does not happen overnight, as I indicated in my earlier post, the club should at least announce a specific site for which it has the necessary land use approvals from the appropriate local governmental agency (i.e. city or county) that it intends to build upon. On the Chicharito situation, we are only hearing Vergara's self-serving slanted side of the story on this, in fairness, I would like to hear what Preki has to say. The fact remains that Preki is the best coach/manager that the club has ever had, putting together a successful team under the limited MLS cap and with no DPs being provided by the cheapskate Cue/Vergara duo. Finally, I concur somewhat with R.a. Vizcarra to the extent that the vanilla "Chivas USA" is rather lame because it refuses to acknowledge its location in the 2nd largest (and one of the most latin-friendly) City in the US, Ciudad de Los Angeles. The team needs a real identity for its fans, if nothing else "Chivas Los Angeles" would be far better in my opinion.

  1. Andrzej Kowalski
    commented on: November 26, 2012 at 7:53 p.m.
    Chivas needs as a coach a former high level attacking player from Latin America who resently palyed in MLS for a few years.Because he has to know know how to play latin attacking style soccer and at the same time he has to know MLS, the opposing teams, the talent pool.There is one such a former high class attacking payer from S.America who resently for a few years played in MLS and currently lives in US.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: December 3, 2012 at 11:37 p.m.
    Andrej watch out, Gordon might call you bias. Gordon, you really are a lunatical idiot. You are always the one or two idiots to interpret everything me or Ric say about these articles as bias against the white man. Stop being such a victim. The next generation in USA will see white people as the minority but its OK brother. We are all Americans. You don't have to attack us because your afraid of change. We won't exterminate you or enslave you or pull you over and question your legal status in this country just because of the color of your skin. Gordon, lets be friends and respect each others opinion. How bout it ESE?


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