Report: Chivas USA could be positioning for name change (Updated)

Edgar Mejia

By DAN KARELL

Chivas USA could be heading for a total makeover after a horrendous year both on and off the field.

Chivas Guadalajara Licensing LLC has filed four trademark applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, two for the name Los Angeles SC and two for Los Angeles F.C. The news was first reported by SB Nation’s Chivas USA blog, The Goat Parade.

The first two trademark applications for each name offer goods and services including ”Entertainment in the nature of soccer games.” The second trademark applications are for the protections of goods and services including items for sale such as gloves, hats, and scarves. Red, black, and gold are three colors mentioned in the applications and featured on the logo designs. The applications have not yet been approved.

(UPDATE- Chivas USA owner Jorge Vergara confirmed to ESPN Deportes that he is considering a name change, but one isn’t imminent.)

Just exactly what that means has yet to be revealed, but it does seem to suggest that Chivas USA is considering a change in team name and logo.

Chivas USA didn’t respond when reached for comment.

In terms of the logos, the design for Los Angeles SC features a star-shaped crest with a cross through the middle of a black background, dividing the logo in four. On the top left is a gold star, top right is a gold castle tower, bottom left is a gold lion, and the bottom right is a gold bear.

The design for Los Angeles F.C. features a shield crest with a gold frame and a back background. Within the frame is a red castle tower and in front of that, an interesting design of a bear and a lion as well as a soccer ball at the bottom of the crest.

It remains unclear whether Chivas Guadalajara Licensing is associated with Chivas and their owners Jorge Vergara and Angelica Fuentes but the trademark names seem to indicate a connection. The trademarks were all filed on Jan. 17.

It also remains possible that these trademark filings are for a potential USL Pro team operated similarly to LA Galaxy II, or for Chivas to tie down potential names of a new team if they did decide to rebrand in the future.

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What do you think of this report? Do you like any of the potential name changes and/or logos? Think that Chivas USA has to rebrand themselves? Think there was any pressure from MLS to do this?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS- Chivas USA. Bookmark the permalink.

98 Responses to Report: Chivas USA could be positioning for name change (Updated)

  1. Jimmy says:

    You can’t polish a turd! MLS needs to find a new ownership group and move the team.

    • Steve Jungul says:

      +1 to the new ownership group part.
      They are fine in LA however, just not at HD Center.

    • testy says:

      You can polish a Turd. Myth Busters did a show on this.

    • Charles says:

      Vergara is ready to sell the team. First 100 million takes it.

    • MikeG says:

      IF you want a polished turd try fish oil tablets

      • MikeG says:

        It’s about the right mentality and competition and the league you play in. They got fish oil and the more advanced league Krill oil.

    • Sean says:

      +1

      This club doesn’t need just a name change. It needs new ownership. MLS fans are already onto Chivas USA for treating MLS as their farm club and changing the name WILL NOT matter.

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        Yes and no. The team has gone through phases where it has tried to be more or less pure. When it was less pure it was more successful and well attended. It was superior to the Galaxy for a Bradley/Preki period where they just tried to assemble a good MLS team with some hispanic players (but not obsessive about it), when LAG were struggling with the cap implications of Beckham before it went to three DPs and they could shove money off the books, get Arena to pick a supporting cast, and field a better product.

        They did lose the fanbase during the purist period, and the question is if they will come back or whether they are just gone. In theory the LA name reboot would be one way to sell that purist ideas are gone — which might also be cynically useful in a certain legal case — but the question would be if fans would give them a second chance. If they would, the old team was once well attended and LA is the best soccer market in the country, could absorb two teams.

        Far as a second stadium goes, that would strike me as a horizon level concern. The fans will either go for rebranding or not, and doubling down by throwing a SSS on top of it all would make this very risky. I think they need to stabilize before bothering. Reality is if this doesn’t work they’re probably gone by movement or sale and there’s no point in a LA stadium until you’re sure the franchise is salvageable.

        • Tony in Quakeland says:

          I don’t always agree with you Imperative Voice, but you always have well reasoned posts. I think you’re on the money here. It seems obvious that this is an absolutely necessary first step. Won’t fix everything, but it has to happen before anything.

        • Ali Dia says:

          Good post…. More I think about it though, this is 100%, no question a prep for sale. Vergara knows this isn’t working, and isn’t likely to to work on his watch or under the Chivas (or any legacy) brand. He is selling a plain vanilla franchise charter, complete with stadium lease, under a plain vanilla, totally unbranded name like those mentioned. That is what he wants this to look like, so that all the investor groups who may look at [Club Miami] and any of the other upcoming franchises are willing to treat it as a preferable alternative to starting anew with all the startup risks.

          And you have to say, it’s a good theory… If NYCFC are willing to pay a $100 million fee to put a second franchise in NYC with far greater startup risks and capital requirements, why wouldn’t a similar investor group prefer to take over a much more operationally advanced version of the same idea in Los Angeles, provided it were rinsed clean of the previous mess. I’m sure $100 million would be more than enough for Vergara… probably much less.

    • NJRB says:

      You do realize that Chivas USA turns a profit right?

      • crossmlk says:

        NJRB, where are you getting that info? I’d be interested to hear your source, the only thing I could find was the 2013 Forbes report which showed a 5.5 million loss. The second largest loss in the league behind the Red Bulls 6.3.

  2. Max says:

    Why file for a new trademark, when there’s an existing one that works better?

    LA Aztecs. Bring them back.

    • MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

      Meh.. forget the mexican refrence. Mexicans dont care about mls

      • whoop-whoop says:

        For those that don’t, nonsense generalizations like that probably don’t help.

      • AristotleTimVickery says:

        Tons of mexicans support the Galaxy just fine. I suspect Chivas filed those trademarks as they read those stories about Kronke wanting to start an MLS team in LA. If they do want to change the team name, then I now declare Vergara a genius.

        • Ian says:

          you are confusing mexicans with central americans

        • Rory Miller says:

          I agree that Kroenke’s plan to take a team to LA is probably the motivator here. I personally hope he takes a team to St. Louis instead, but whatever.

          Would kind of suck for the Galaxy if another team popped up with the more traditional sounding LA FC. I wonder if the Galaxy would legally be allowed to change their own name to LA Galaxy FC officially or if that’s too close.

    • Darwin says:

      lol. I don’t think you understand how trademarks work.

      • Rory Miller says:

        Why not call themselves LA Galaxy since a trademark already exists with that name? I mean, wouldn’t it save a bunch of government paperwork to just switch to the trademark that is already owned by someone else?

    • Josh D says:

      LA Aztecs is a perfect name. It hints at Mexican heritage without alienating 90% like you do with Chivas. And it’s open enough that players outside of Hispanic heritage would happily play for them over the name of Chivas.

      LA FC is so boring. You can’t build a culture around a nothing name.

      • Garrett says:

        Yes that makes sense since Liverpool FC, Chelsea FC and countless other clubs with FC following the cities name haven’t been able to build a soccer culture. Good Point!

        • AristotleTimVickery says:

          FC is an English name. It has little resonance in the US where most fans are cultural minorities. I’ve been to games all over California, and seen the US national team play other countries. Judging from those fans wearing red, white, and blue, and those sitting w/those fans with US shirts, I’d say whites are in the minority in terms of who constitutes fans of the US team. Its a mix of mexican (like me), hispanic, 2nd generation asian, 2nd generation middle eastern, etc.

        • The Imperative Voice says:

          FC, sporting, etc. are lost opportunities to market. It’s a safe name that won’t drive people away from merchandise but if people are buying tickets and shirts I don’t think it hurts to have an interesting name people like as opposed to a bland identifier.

          So, Dynamo > FC > Burn. The trend towards bland names has stabilized the team brands with blandness but I can’t imagine the fans of “FC” just burn for FC so much as they are glad it’s not Burn anymore.

          FWIW many European teams have nicknames and/or mascots and/or identifiers on the crest. When Fulham FC took the logo out of the crest and went with modern lettering emphasizing FFC that made their fans cranky. Chelsea FC changes color schemes towards yellow or red every so often, alters the crest accordingly. Cardiff’s new owner switched colors and peeved his fanss. And Hull is trying to literally brand themselves Tigers. So let’s not get too black and white about it.

      • Gary Page says:

        As an alumnus of the San Diego State Aztecs, I’ve always thought it was a very good name. A lot of very good soccer players started there by the way–Balboa, Wynalda, Corona and I think Beitashour. Also I think Jimmy Conrad started there and then transferred to UCLA, but I’m relying on memory so I could be wrong about that.

      • paul says:

        It’s a ridiculous name…..there were no Aztecs in Los Angeles, just like San Diego State’s nickname is moronic. These are the indigenous groups of Los Angeles link to laalmanac.com

    • Ando says:

      Problem with the Aztecs is that Chivas’ nemesis Club America plays in the Azteca. Also, it would be (re)naming a club after an indigenous group, something that is controversial right now. Its is a nice name with some soccer history (I personally like it), but it might create new issues.

      • beto says:

        And TV Azteca on their other side.

        Personally i love the LA Aztecs logo and name and i was hoping that one of the other powers in Mexican soccer would complete some hostile takeover of the club and bring in this look.

      • Gonzo says:

        This. The PC brigade will not allow it.

  3. Panchitos Dad says:

    Atlanta Fc me gusta

  4. ThatKidNandez says:

    The Lion Bear looks awesome but keep it to one animal! LA Fc sounds way better than Sc

  5. JunctionJim says:

    Chivas’ main goal should not be changing their name as much as it should be putting their energy into finding another place to play somewhere else in LA, As long as they share the pitch with the Galaxy they will always be ignored.

    • Gary Page says:

      A lot of soccer fans in San Diego that would welcome them if they put a good product on the field. Problem is finding a soccer specific stadium. The City won’t put up any bucks and the stadium used by the Chargers is so big. The baseball stadium is a good size (a cozy feeling 40,000), but working around the Padres schedule could be very difficult.

  6. NASL to EL Paso TX says:

    Im in for this but by Chivas Usa rebranding means Vergara will never go away :(
    Second of all, the name will be a dumba$$ name and i predict a typical logo with no style. If he rebrands the team, LA Aztecs is a must or Inter Los Angeles
    Why not move the team to sacramento, san francisco, las vegas, el paso tx since his wife has roots in el paso tx, austin.
    This is not as good as people think, every hispanic, chicano and Latino know that Vergara owns Chivas USA in Los Angeles and it only connects to the Spanish-English audience and what difference makes if he gives it a new name and logo. Its like the cleveland browns or jacksonvillle jaguars changing name and logo in order to win and gain fans but their fans still know that the team owner sucks.
    Garber, please get a rich soccer head foreign owner to buy out vergara ;)

    • Dare to be Zlatan says:

      I have a different interpretation. I think rebranding is a first step towards selling the franchise; Vergara won’t want to sell the Chivas name to another owner. This is a fresh start, and makes them more attractive IMHO to other buyers.

    • Hogatroge says:

      Vergara doesn’t want Chivas USA… he just wants to get a certain dollar figure out of its sale.

      LA SC isn’t a great name, but its better than Chivas USA and it will make the team more attractive to potential buyers.

  7. bryan says:

    Thank god.

    • bryan says:

      Anyone else getting zero notification emails when new comments are posted? Says I’m subscribed but I haven’t got an SBI email in days for any thread.

  8. Jose Smojose says:

    Mexicans don’t care about MLS? Mexicans only care about tacos. Go support your silly Liga MX and stay off the MLS boards. Jackholes!

    • kevin says:

      Typical sensitive American. BTW Americans don’t care LA ligamx or soccer. Queue the sensitive eurosnobs…

  9. Word says:

    Step 1 toward a sale. Thank god.

  10. Club Deportivo Los Angeles… With the unofficial moniker as “The Lobos.”

  11. Alex H says:

    The best re-brand for Chivas USA would be, “No Longer Owened By Vergara F.C.” , but after that I always thought “Southland United” would be a good name for and LA soccer team.

    • beto says:

      i like the use of a local area in the name . Whereever they build a stadium kinda like how every team in London isnt London Fulham, London Spurs, London Arsenal, etc

      Idk where or what Southland is but some like that or Anaheim FC, Long Beach FC, Pasadena FC would be cool.

  12. slowleftarm says:

    The faster we turn the page on this failed experiment the better.

  13. Good Jeremy says:

    Their trademark application included ”Entertainment in the nature of soccer games?”
    They had better hope that whoever reviews the application doesn’t follow soccer.

  14. Lil' Zeke says:

    I prefer Max Bretos’ idea: Emerald City FC

  15. BD says:

    I’d like nothing more than to see someone swoop in for LAFC and build a stadium downtown. I’ve always wanted someone to build a 20k stadium here: link to yelp.com

    Thoughts LA peeps?

  16. Bobert says:

    LA FC is good but LA SC? That’s the same acronym of LA Superior Court.

  17. Tom_in_So_IL says:

    Like the SC Logo. C. D. Los Angeles would be kinda cool. Black and gold kits could look nice!

  18. MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

    SoCal FC

  19. Micronesia Justin says:

    Chivas USA was a bad idea from the get go. It was thought they would attract Mexican fans. While they may attract Chivas fans, Chivas USA would take a backseat to the FMF squad. I hope there is an ownership change.

  20. El Paso tx says:

    Bring chivas USA to El Paso, his wife is from the El Paso area :) I wish right……and our city has a clause in some city bonds, that says, if an ownership brings a soccer team with any league, the city of El Paso will build a 200$million stadium.
    El Paso has enough land around downtown and around the city and more than enough soccer fans, I actually believe El Paso tx is soccer city from texas, not Dallas,Houston or San Antonio but El Paso.
    As a matter of fact, El Paso tx is making a downtown triple A baseball stadium, not bad to share with a soccer team to start with.

    • Darthspud says:

      She is from Juarez. Their daughter was born in El Paso. They might even have a house here.

      No sharing of stadiums please.

      As much as I’d like an mls team here. El Pasoans are too cheap. Look at the stadium your talking about.

    • chuck says:

      Only if they are called the Patriots

  21. KC says:

    Trademark = logo. (ie nike swoosh, the Coca Cola lettering)
    Tradename = name (like the name Nike)
    So I assume you mean they filed 2 for the tradename’s and 2 for the trademarks for the logos associated with the clubs.

  22. MiamiAl says:

    Move the team to San Diego or Las Vegas.

    • Bobert says:

      hell no

      move them to DTLA or East LA and you have a club with lots of support. Especially with a traditional name like Los Angeles FC.

  23. beto says:

    Pretty uninspiring names there. Why would anyone want to watch those teams when the La Galaxy are there too.

    They need their own stadium in a different side of town. Along with a lot of other things…

    As someone else said, the more change asap the better..

    • Ian says:

      that’s like asking why would anyone want to watch Milan when they can watch Inter in the San Siro

      • beto says:

        AC is looking to build their own stadium soon for this reason. Also both of those teams are .. Well above Chivas and Galaxy

        A better example would be how the Lakers have done well while the Clippers have been a joke for years. Stadiums are homes not just places that demographics empty out their wallets..

  24. David says:

    I have been hoping that something was going to happen with this team for the last two years. The mismanagement and lack of basic business sense has been shocking. They are in the shadow of the biggest club in the country. They couldn’t make hay as the eval empire alternative? Southern California is the biggest and richest soccer market in the country and Vergara couldn’t figure it out. The inept management of this team has been a drag on the whole league. Maybe they will rebrand and Vergara will look to cash out. I can only hope.

  25. MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

    What ever happened to the discrimination lawsuit against chivas usa and mls?

  26. Josh Smythe says:

    How about La Migra United ?

  27. Pete Mitalas says:

    FC , SC & AC can’t we get more creative why not just go with Aztecs