WARNING – MLSGarlic will be a parody series that runs on MLSTalk. We’ll only say it once, so please be warned. Ed.
We here at MLS Talk love to kick a goat while it’s down, we must admit that. But sometimes you have to step back and decide not to put a boot into the caprine’s “Maaaa”-mborine, and instead laud Chivas USA for the wonderful precedent it is setting.
Could anyone pick a more appropriate moniker for the MLS franchise that hangs around and chews up young American players like they were tin cans? Sure, Toronto has had its share of tough moments, but their standard fare is older, washed-up Europeans. They throw money at the Frings’ of the world as if they relished stuffing money into Alpine retirement communities. Crikey, the grudge their fans hold is not because their team sold off promising Joe Silver, but instead because MLS kept them from signing a 67 year old Scandanavian center half whose walker often struggles to hold the high line. But we digress, instead the perfect “goat” would be everyone’s favorite Cirque du Chelis, Chivas USA.
And as I said, goats are quite lovable. The junk that sits in my backyard would no longer be activating the Deed Restriction Police if I were to purchase a simple, beautiful, bearded barnyard beast. Like the canoe my neighbor gave me, that he named “The Good Ship Juan Pablo Angel.” That mountainous mammal would tear through the wooden craft like he hadn’t eaten in three weeks. He’d scarf it, regurgitate it, scarf it again, and drop it out in an easy package to bag up and toss with the pile of grass clippings.
In fact, it’s such a wonderful idea, I really think I could turn my entire backyard into a farm. Likewise, Los Angeles is ripe for the picking when it comes to saturating the region with cute-yet-destructive clubs that MLS could plop down. Who needs youth development when you can languish good youngsters on the bench?
But back to the market. It’s a veritable smorgasbord of people who seem to care very little about sports – that is, until their team becomes a true contender. In most cities it means full houses, but in Los Angeles they show up for the middle three innings. In SoCal, as long as they buy a ticket, they can show up in second half stoppage time for all the owner cares.
There are plenty of people in the Los Angeles-Anaheim corridor. Think about it – if you were to put another 5 franchises like Chivas USA into the Los Angeles area, you could do the simple math and bring out 35,000 people on opening night! That’s nearly Sounder-esque! The only question is, how you target different audiences to amass the 7K folks who might stumble through the StubHub Arena’s doors for each club?
– They could look to the EPL and their supporters, much like Chivas USA is branded to target fans of the Guadelajara club. Queens Park Rangers USA could really be a great source of income and surplus players – I hear Park Ji-Sung enjoys surfing in his spare time, and Americans love Robert Green from his stellar performance in the 2010 World Cup!
– Without NFL in the Valley, it’s time for MLS to tap into those who are missing out on the product. Plus, why not cross-market for the pirate craze? You can create the L.A. Swashbucklers, which is an obvious homage to the Raid-ehs. The catch – the players wear silver and black, full pads and helmets like an NFL team, and must always believe Don Garber and MLS are out to get them. They would obviously play at the Coliseum for good measure, and Bo Jackson would start at defensive midfielder in the opener.
– For attendance to have dipped at Chivas USA, there must be former Chivas USA fans who hate the current direction of the club. Right? Don Garber must see to it that F.C. Chivas USA is created, taking a page out of the Mancunian history. But they must do it right this time though, and bring in Mexican-American players the right way – by convincing some top Ecuadorian and Colombian players to pretend that they have Mexican heritage.
And I’m sure there are other teams that could be synthesized. We really need to look at Chivas USA, not as a laughing stock that probably drew fewer fans than some high school soccer games, but instead as a new model for excellence. Not only might the “niche club” be a burgeoning opportunity, but maybe one of those squads could actually compete with the Galaxy for a change.