Friday, September 7, 2007

Speculate, capitulate

Well, why wait until Monday? Antonio Cue knows very well who Chivas USA's new GM/CEO is going to be. He's just waiting to announce it officially. Let me tell everyone that Cue was pretty excited about this new guy, and he specified this is someone who knows the league. I'm throwing out my top candidates.

1. Peter Wilt: The heart and soul of the Chicago Fire's early success, great with fans, a true soccer brain and just an overall quality person. Would come highly recommended by Bob Bradley, who still has Cue's ear on many matters.
On the other hand, Wilt is apparently a big part of the push for an MLS team in Milwaukee, and has, according to Luis Arroyave, already denied that he has accepted the Chivas USA job.

2. Jurgen Klinsmann: Nothing would rankle many Galaxy fans more - and Cue would love that. Plus, Klinsmann's curiosity for new challenges might find this post appealing. He's been spotted around the Home Depot Center lately. Everyone assumed it was for the Galaxy job, but perhaps not.

3. Jorge Campos: The Galaxy's first-ever signing has been retained by Chivas USA in a scouting capacity for some time. He would bring major name recognition, and be proof that Chivas USA is still committed to offering opportunities to Hispanics at all levels of the organization.

4. Fabio Capello: Ok, he knows nothing about MLS, so that probably eliminates him as an option, but Cue was talking about a big move.

5. Steve Pastorino: Knows the league very well, but definitely doesn't qualify on the big move scale.

6. Doug Logan: Knows MLS, since he was once comissioner. Is he doing anything else terribly important at the moment? I think not. He speaks Spanish, as well.

7. John O'Brien: That's what he's been up to all this time - business classes in preparation. Those ten minutes on the field also qualify as MLS experience.

8. Tab Ramos: It's not as if Alexi Lalas was really qualified when he started managing in the league, either.

9. Ramon Ramirez: Chivas USA's first signing still has name recognition value and some league experience. More rehab experience, really.

10. Eric Wynalda: Bored at ESPN and tired of his playing comeback with the Bakersfield Brigade, Eric decides it's time to show Bruce Arena that he really does know how to better run an MLS team.

Anyone else got any other ideas?


glyconerd said...,1,4719745.story?coll=la-headlines-sports&ctrack=7&cset=true

There's the big name.

A.C. said...

For those who can't follow the link, the LA Times has info that Shawn Hunter, a long-time AEG exec, is being brought in.

No wonder Cue looked like the cat who ate the canary. Hunter was Tim Leiweke's point man for a bunch of sports deals, and considered important enough in the Galaxy and AEG structure to be on the podium for the Galaxy's victory presentations after their championship wins.

That said - color me a bit skeptical. Whit Haskel was supposed to be the big steal from the Galaxy for Chivas USA back when the franchise was first announced. He panned out so well that his position doesn't even really exist. Yes, Hunter has the big-league exec experience, (the Chivas USA job - heck, any MLS exec position, could be considered a come-down for him) but does he understand the Chivas USA audience at all? He doesn't speak any Spanish, as far as I know. Not that that has hindered Preki, for one.
I just highly doubt that Hunter has any idea of the love and loyalty that go into the red and white stripes. I wonder if this move is a prelude to some relocation or rebranding for the team.

Anonymous said...

Good point, andrea.

When do we get another episode of Sideline TV?

glyconerd said...

Relocation? Stop dreaming, AC.

A.C. said...

Glyco - I wasn't the one following up the rumor about a possible relocation to San Diego. That would be the author of the article you linked. He thought it was a credible possibility.

A.C. said...

We've actually recorded a couple of episodes that for technical reasons - have not made it to the blog. Maybe we'll put them up someday as "Sideline Views TV - the Lost Episodes"

L.B. said...

I think Shawn Hunter is a great acquisition.

Just like the team on the field realized it can't win with a Mexican-only mentality, it's also realized that it can't succeed in building a fan base by targeting only Mexicans.

It's good to see the club trying to build up the "USA" part of their name instead of just focusing on the "Chivas" element.

Jaime Cárdenas said...


I'm with you. I Hunter is a great hire. And A.C. might not be far off, I don't know if you were taking an educated guess or a wild guess, but your are not off when talking about rebranding. When I was talking to players they are were all saying how the move was great, but one player asked me, "Do you think they'll keep the name?"

It really struck me as weird that he would ask that.

And Glyco, Chivas will soon move out of HDC. Bank on it.

A.C. said...

Honestly, I'd have been more excited if it was Peter Wilt. He's a real soccer person. I'm just having a tough time believing that Shawn Hunter is committed to soccer. He's mostly done hockey. He could be using this gig as a waystation to something else. Course, one could argue that Bob Bradley did the same thing and that worked out for both parties.
Yeah, Jaime, the rebranding was kind of an educated guess. I said after Cue spoke to the reporters that his pick would really indicate the direction the team was going to take.

JT (Chicago) said...

As a Fire fan, let me tell you that bringing in Peter Wilt would have been great for ChivasUSA, even if for only two years or so. However, he's involved with the push for a Milwaukee MLS franchise and is the "soccer guy" in the group bringing a women's franchise to Chicago when that league starts up.

AND, hopefully, the new owners of the Fire will see what their fans want and bring Wilt back to run the Fire again. Peter Wilt, great guy, great soccer mind.

Good luck with your new CEO.

East River said...

I never thought targeting Mexicans American fans was that bad of an idea. But Chivas was created to target Chivas fans and that has been its fatal flaw. Its just to narrow of an audience who would prefer the real thing. At least the league has learned you can never duplicate the history of a team. All teams develop their own personality.

Chivas Mexican/Mexican Americans only theme obivously couldn't work from the get go. Its also not necessary as the Galaxy showed years ago that Mexican Americans would support an MLS team even if there are only a few or no Latinos. But what if they or another team would try an American born or US citizens only team? Laughable at first thought, but could work in some American cities. Or Chivas could embrace a truely American identity. It has already gone in a direction of a Latin based team showing the diverse range of people who make up America. Back in the old ASL there was team named the NY Americans. Oddly enough its is possible to be the American version of Chivas but not how it was originally envisioned.

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