Major League Soccer took the unprecedented step of purchasing one of its own clubs on Thursday when it assumed control of Chivas USA from Jorge Vergara and Angelica Fuentes for a reported $25 million.
Chivas USA, which found itself the subject of a discrimination lawsuit last year, will be operated by the league effective immediately. Head coach Wilmer Cabrera will remain on board and will report to a club president that will be selected by the league.
The league purchased the club with the intent of finding a buyer for it in the coming months. Meanwhile, the club will continue to play as Chivas USA during the 2014 MLS season and will be rebranded with a new team name and logo in connection with the sale to a new owner.
“We thank Jorge Vergara and Angelica Fuentes for their significant commitment to Major League Soccer,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said in a statement on Thursday. “Jorge was an early believer in the league and he and Angelica have been great partners in MLS. We collectively agreed that it is best to sell the club to new owners who are committed to securing a new stadium and providing MLS with a strong rival for the LA Galaxy.”
Chivas USA entered the league as an expansion team in 2005, going 83-130-73 in 286 games in its nine seasons in MLS. Former UConn forward Carlos Alvarez was drafted second overall by the side last year.
“It’s time to turn to a new chapter here,” Garber told the media in press conference on Thursday. “That new chapter will start with us finding a new ownership group – we’re pretty good at that. And developing with a stadium plan – we’re pretty good at that, too.”