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On The Eve Of A SuperClassico - Chivas USA Vs. Galaxy

Chivas USA have gone on the marketing offensive with the SuperClassico coming up Saturday. Will it make any difference?

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Strange things happen when two teams share one stadium. The Giants and Jets, Chivas and the Galaxy; situations where offices are next door to each other, and teams are competing for the same exact fan base. By the numbers, the Galaxy vs. Chivas SuperClassico has been a sub-par rivalry. The Los Angeles Galaxy hold a .739 winning percentage against their tenant. It's one thing for the Lakers and Clippers to be the Kings' tenant, they aren't exactly competing in the same industry. Even with the Giants and Jets, and two teams play each other so rarely. When the Galaxy have a 14-3-6 record against the Rojiblancos over just 5 years, it doesn't do much to sell the Chivas experience. 

While Chivas' business plan has always been piggybacking on the 100 year tradition of their parent team in Guadalajara, this week owner Rodrigo Morales announced a plan for the team to be made up of 100% local talent in the next few years. This mimicking Guadalajara's policy of only fielding Mexican players, which has made the original Rojiblancos a feeder for the Mexican national team. It takes some brass ones for someone who came up with the Mexican parent club, to come to the American sister team, and declare it's going to start developing talent for the US National Team. 

It's all part of an effort by Chivas to differentiate themselves from their landlord. The freeway sign campaign promoting Chivas' authentic fans, and contrasting them with the Galaxy's artificial fans, has drawn lots of commentary. A five year old MLS franchise claims to be more authentic than an original MLS franchise, because it has ties to a hundred year old Mexican club. It's insulting to those in LA who have committed to MLS since the beginning, and frankly it's insulting to American soccer fans. However, one can understand the intent when combined with Chivas' new local player initiative. The Galaxy, despite having a local hero in Landon Donovan as its centerpiece, have brought in a bunch of international stars, with David Beckham the key example. 

Even with all that, it took Brian Straus' article to get me to write my own commentary, cause in it, Morales says not only will Chivas go local, but that going local will make them a super-team like parent Guadalajara or the New York Yankees. The Yankees! Last I checked, the Yankees won a bunch of titles with players developed all over the country, and now feature players from all over the world. 

It's great that MLS teams are starting to take the piss out of each other. Houston launched a rivalry campaign directed at FC Dallas, and much has been made about the Seattle-Portland rivalry. Maybe this is the step Chivas needed to take toward being a legitimate MLS club. Hat tricks by Justin Braun certainly go a longer way toward that goal than empty salvos. It's been 1,342 days since Chivas last defeated the LA Galaxy. Before Alan Gordon's goal in last year's second meeting, Chivas had gone 450 minutes without scoring against the Galaxy.

Or to put it in the simplest terms possible, who are ya?