How’d 2013 Treat ‘Em: 6-20-8 (W-L-T), 30 gf, 67 ga; 9th in the West
I ask for your indulgence while I step on my soapbox. Ahem. When asked to name all the teams in MLS, do you hit 18 and then, fairly sure the team has 19 teams, you struggle to name that last team, the one that you’re pretty sure play in kits with red and white stripes running vertically? Did anyone even notice Chivas USA in 2013? You can thank a piss-poor ownership/marketing concept for that one. By marketing them as MLS’s “Mexican club,” the league cursed them to be the league equivalent of a foreign exchange student – e.g. someone you see every day, yet also someone apart from the permanent landscape. This was just plain stupid. During the Razov/Kljestan/(Bob) Bradley glory days, Chivas USA gave MLS fans a reason to notice them, but the last few putrid years re-cast the club as something lesser and different, almost to the point where they seemed like a team from another league brought in to play against MLS clubs. I’m only barely kidding: their games felt like club friendlies, especially given the results. The way their mother team ignored them only reinforced that lesser status. The league bought the team just before the season with an eye to rebranding and reintegrating. Good idea. Back to the numbers up top, yeah, Chivas had a terrible goddamn year.
Exciting Additions! – Mauro Rosales, Luke Moore, Adolfo Bautista, Andrew Jean-Baptiste
Tricky Departures… – When your season sucked bad enough…
Quality Parts: Eric Avila, Carlos Bocanegra, Dan Kennedy, Erick Torres
It Gets Better If They Come Good: Carlos Alvarez, Bautista, Jean-Baptiste or Bobby Burling, Oswaldo Minda, Rosales…a lot of dudes, probably…I just don’t know them…
What I’d Expect Based on the Above:
When one fails to notice a team it follows from that one won’t have a lot to say about it. So, I’ll just follow what I’ve heard/read and say this: Chivas will likely improve in 2014. I can see how it wouldn’t happen – more than a few teams did get stronger, after all – but they did add some good, known parts to their mix. And, if memory serves, they solidified their defense by season’s end in 2013. I think I’ve heard that Bautista looked decent in preseason and, whatever his limitations in terms of defense and general mobility, Rosales should give their forwards something with which to work. For me, though, the club’s history will start in 2015. The best they can hope for this year is a chance to get one step ahead of the other expansion clubs that will “join” the same season.
2014 Season Opener: v. Chicago Fire, March 9