MLS: Chivas USA status in 2015 will wait for new owner, Garber says

Chivas USA fans might not get the chance to cheer for their club next season.

Jim O'Connor/Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK

The future of Chivas USA remains in limbo as MLS pursues a new investor/operator to take control of the team.

MLS commissioner Don Garber said the league believes it will have an agreement in place to sell the league-owned club by the end of the year and start the process of rebranding the second club in Los Angeles.

“We are making progress on the sale of Chivas USA,” Garber said after the league unveiled its new logo for next season. “We expect to be able to close an agreement by the end of the season. Once we get an ownership group in place, we’ll sit down with them and make a decision as to whether or not we will keep that team operating in 2015 and beyond.”

Garber disputed the specifics of a SI.com report from last week about a likely hiatus for the 2015 — and perhaps the 2016 — season and said the league would not make any decisions about the future of the club until the new investors are in place.

“I want to reiterate something strongly, which perhaps got out ahead of the facts: no decision has been made whatsoever about whether or not Chivas USA is going to be shutdown,” Garber said. “Right now, our plan is to continue operating the team and get an ownership group in place. And when that ownership group is in place, we’ll work together to make a decision that will be good for them, good for our fans, and good for Major League Soccer.”

The timeline for making a decision on any new investor/operator and solidifying the structure for next season is quickly approaching. MLS is expected to convene a Board of Governors meeting on Oct. 6 to discuss several matters, including the future of Chivas USA.

Garber said the league would like to have a decision as quickly as possible to allow everyone to plan for next year and usher in the new era for the club.

“Well, I don’t know if there is a definitive deadline,” Garber said. “We want to make the decision as soon as possible. We want to have a concerted effort with a new ownership that will be planning what their challenges are and what their opportunities are with our second team in LA. We want to make that decision as soon as they are in place. We’re not going to make a decision before they are in place.”