CHIVAS USA SOCCER
While the Los Angeles area already had the LA Galaxy to call their own in the world of professional soccer, future Chivas USA owner Jorge Vergara believed that there was still room for another team in the area. Seeking to tap into Los Angeles' large Mexican community, Vergara opted to name his team Chivas USA, after the famous Mexican League club, Chivas de Guadalajara. The Mexican team won an amazing 10 championships, but the American version is still finding its way in an increasingly crowded MLS landscape. Chivas USA began play in 2005 and experienced a tumultuous season that saw three different coaches at the helm, but in recent years, the team has started to put together a string of winning seasons and finally seemed to have turned corner.
After a forgettable first season and a brief playoff appearance in 2006, the year 2007 was a record-breaking year for Chivas USA and the team truly became the class of the Western Conference. Recent acquisition Maykel Galindo would lead the team with 12 goals, and Chivas USA would cruise into the playoffs riding high after a perfect record in the month of August. After finishing with a 15-7-8 record and their first conference championship, spirits were high for the team's first playoff experience, but their hopes were dashed quickly after falling to the Kansas City Wizards in the first round of the postseason.
Expectations were high for Chivas USA heading into the 2008 season, but the team wasn't able to overcome the losses of specific players who went to play in the Beijing Summer Olympics. While the squad did manage to capture a wild card berth, they were knocked out of the playoffs by Real Salt Lake. In 2009, Chivas USA would again capture a wild card spot, but this time around, they were beaten by their crosstown rivals, the LA Galaxy, in a first round loss.
Heading into the 2012 season, Chivas USA looks to end its playoff drought and finally climb back into the upper echelon of teams in the Western Conference. While the team hasn't seen significant improvements in the win-loss column recently, Chivas USA has gone back to the drawing board to put together a mixture of young talent and savvy veterans that can help them compete. This may be the year that Chivas USA puts it all together and finally brings a title home to their dedicated fanbase.