Chivas USA History
On August 2, 2004, co-owners Jorge Vergara and Antonio Cué announced that they had been awarded MLS’s 11th franchise. In September, the logo, colors, and name of the franchise were announced, and Thomas Rongen was named Chivas USA’s first head coach. Arturo Torres became the team’s first-ever player when he was selected with the first pick in the MLS Expansion Draft.
Chivas USA played their first game on April 2, 2005, losing 2-0 to D.C. United. The Red-and-White earned their first victory on May 7, defeating Real Salt Lake 1-0. Hans Westerhof was named Chivas USA’s second head coach. Forward Matt Taylor became the first Goat to be named MLS Player of the Week. Following the season, Bob Bradley was named the team’s third head coach.
In the 2006 MLS SuperDraft, the Red-And-White selected midfielder Sacha Kljestan and defender Jonathan Bornstein. The Goats also acquired veterans Jesse Marsch, Ante Razov, and Claudio Suárez. The Red-and-White clinched the first playoff birth in team history, and won their first playoff game, defeating the eventual MLS Cup Champion Houston Dynamo 2-1. Bornstein made an immediate impact, and was named MLS Player of the Week, MLS Player of the Month, and MLS Rookie of the Year. Ante Razov was named to the 2006 MLS All-Star team. Bob Bradley was named the MLS Coach of the Year. The team hosted the “100-hour game,” the longest on record in the United States.
Predrag Radosavljevic—a.k.a. Preki—was named the club’s fourth head coach. Ramón Ramírez, the Goats’ first captain, announced his retirement. Jonathan Bornstein became the first Chivas USA player to start in an MLS All-Star Game. The Red-and-White finished with its best record (15-7-8, 53 pts), and won the Western Conference Title. In the playoffs, the team fell to Kansas City. Brad Guzan was named the MLS Panasonic Goalkeeper of the Year, and Preki was named the MLS Coach of the Year.
Chivas USA competed in their first official international tournament, playing Pachuca in the 2008 SuperLiga. Jonathan Bornstein and Sacha Kljestan were named to the MLS All-Star team. Goalie Brad Guzan became the first Goat to transfer to a European first division club. The Red-and-White clinched a playoff berth for the third consecutive season, losing to Real Salt Lake in the first round. Kljestan scored the U.S. Soccer Goal of the Year while playing in the Beijing Olympics. He was also named to the MLS Best XI, and was selected as U.S. Soccer’s Young Male Athlete of the Year.
Jonathan Bornstein and Sacha Kljestan competed with the U.S. National Team in the FIFA Confederations Cup in South America. Chivas USA goalkeeper Zach Thornton was named to the 2009 MLS All-Star Team. The Red-And-White made the MLS Cup Playoffs for the fourth consecutive season, playing the Los Angeles Galaxy in the first round. Chivas USA announced the Team Award Winners, naming Thornton the team’s Most Valuable Player. Thornton was also named the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year and MLS Comeback Player of the Year, and he was nominated to the MLS Best 11. Martín Vásquez was named the team’s head coach after serving as an assistant coach from 2005-2007.
Kljestan and Bornstein were named co-captains for the 2010 seasons. During the World Cup break Kljestan signed a deal with Belgian club Anderlecht, leaving Chivas USA after parts of five seasons. Bornstein played in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, starting in two matches for the United States as they made it to the Round of 16.
Chivas USA announced that Robin Fraser was named the club’s new Head Coach and joining him will be Greg Vanney as Assistant Coach. Nick LaBrocca scored the 10,000th goal in MLS history in the Red-and-White’s match vs. Sporting Kansas City, earning him his first MLS All-Star Team. During the summer, Alejandro Moreno joined the Venezuelan National Team for the squad’s participation in CONMEBOL’s Copa America, helping the ‘Vinotinto’ to the team’s best 4th place finish. On August 17, Chivas USA announced the acquisition of Colombian striker Juan Pablo Angel from LA Galaxy, before he would score seven goals in nine games.
The Red-and-White made a deep run in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, reaching the semi-finals of the 99-year old tournament for the second time. Goalkeeper Dan Kennedy was named team MVP, finished second in MLS in saves, and was named to his first All-Star Game. On August 29th, Jorge Vergara and Angelica Fuentes became complete owners of Chivas USA, acquiring the remaining 50% from former partners.