Major League Soccer announced Thursday that it has purchased the troubled Chivas USA franchise from Mexican owners Jorge Vergara and Angelica Fuentes and will begin operating the team immediately.
The team will begin the MLS season next month under league control but MLS is hoping to conclude a quick deal to sell the team to an ownership group committed to building a new stadium that would keep the team in Los Angeles.
Although Vergara and Fuentes, the husband-and-wife owners of Mexican league team Chivas de Guadalajara, will retain all licensing rights to the Chivas name and the logo, the MLS-owned team will continue using the Chivas USA brand on a transitional basis.
Vergara was part of the ownership group that founded the franchise in 2005 but the team has fallen on hard times lately, finishing last in the Western Conference in two of the last seasons amid constant front-office upheaval and roster changes. Vergara and Fuentes bought out their original partners in August of 2012 but that did little to bring stability.
It was a well-known secret in MLS circles that the league office was involved behind the scenes in much of the club's affairs in an attempt to make it a viable franchise.