Mexican businessman Jorge Vergara took ownership of the struggling Chivas de Guadalajara in 2002 and sought to use the rejuvenated club to establish an international brand. In June 2003, the league announced that the 2003 MLS All-Star Game would be played against Chivas and that Vergara was interested in purchasing an expansion team. The team, named “Chivas USA”, would be affiliated with Chivas and play in either Los Angeles or San Diego beginning in the 2005 season. On August 2, 2004, Major League Soccer announced that Chivas USA would share The Home Depot Center in Carson with the Galaxy, and begin to play in 2005 as the league’s eleventh team.
On February 20, 2014, Major League Soccer purchased Chivas USA from Vergara. They announced plans to sell to a buyer dedicated to keeping the club in Los Angeles, as well as a plan to rebrand the club in time for the 2015 MLS season. ESPN reported on September 29, 2014, that the club would suspend operations at the end of the MLS regular season, according to multiple sources.
On September 30, 2014, Grant Wahl of Sports Illustrated reported that a group of investors headed by Henry Nguyen, Los Angeles Dodgers investor Peter Guber and Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan agreed to purchase the club for a fee over $100 million. The sale would mean that Chivas USA would fold, with the second Los Angeles team to take the field as an expansion team with a new stadium in Downtown Los Angeles.
Chivas USA ceased operations on October 27, 2014, with its player development academy continuing to be operated by MLS until June 2015. A dispersal draft took place after the 2014 season, having the remaining players from the club dispersed to other teams in the league. The league added two teams (New York City FC and Orlando City SC) to increase the total number of teams from nineteen to twenty, with Kansas City and Houston both shifting to the Western Conference to keep the conferences balanced. Los Angeles FC began to play in 2018. They are not considered by the league to be a continuation of Chivas USA.
The club was the eleventh MLS team upon its entry into the league in 2004. Chivas USA was intended to be seen as a “little brother” to its parent club C.D. Guadalajara, one of the most widely supported and successful teams in Mexico. Chiva is Latin American Spanish for “goat”, seen as a tough and resilient animal in Mexico, and is the nickname of C.D. Guadalajara.
Chivas USA played its home games at the StubHub Center in Carson, which it shared with its rival, the LA Galaxy. The club was originally owned by Antonio Cue and Jorge Vergara, who also owns C.D. Guadalajara. In 2014, MLS purchased the club from Vergara with plans to sell to new owners.
2004 – 2014 / Major League Soccer
2004 – 2014 / Club Deportivo Chivas USA
The Goats, Los Rojiblancos (The Red-and-Whites) – When the team was formed, it was planned to be a “little brother” to the very popular Mexican team C.D. Guadalajara. “Chivas,” the Spanish word for “goats,” is the nickname of C.D. Guadalajara.
MLS Cups 0
2005 – 2014 / StubHub Center
2006 / Harder Stadium
2008, 2010 / Titan Stadium
2014 / Major League Soccer
2012 – 2014 / Jorge Vergara
2004 – 2012 / Jorge Vergara & Antonio Cué Sánchez-Navarro
*Blue is this team’s history