Another moving day at Chivas USA as 10 players depart

Portland Timbers midfielder Will Johnson steals the ball from Chivas USA defender Mario de Luna back in October.
(Alex Gallardo / Associated Press)

Chivas USA parted ways with 10 players Thursday, the same day it was announced that Francisco Palencia would be leaving as director of soccer operations to return to Mexico in a similar position with sister club Chivas of Guadalajara.

Meanwhile, the exodus of on-field talent brings to 29 the number of players the club has gotten rid of this year. That’s 10 more than the number of players on the current team roster.

Among those leaving this week were two starters -- defender Mario de Luna and midfielder Edgar Mejia. Both players are returning to Guadalajara because their loan deals have expired. Mexican American players Julio Morales, a forward, and Jaime Frias, a defender, will go to Guadalajara as well.


The team has declined options on defender Steven Purdy, midfielders Daniel Antunez, Marvin Iraheta and Josue Soto, forward Jose Manuel Rivera and backup goalkeeper Patrick McLain.

In its first full season under the sole ownership of Mexican businessman Jorge Vergara and wife Angelica Fuentes, Chivas USA saw attendance drop to a franchise-low average of 8,366 per game at StubHub Center. The team won just six games, the lowest total since its inaugural season in 2005, while finishing last in the MLS Western Conference for the second consecutive year.

This week Forbes magazine released a report that said Chivas USA was the league’s least valuable team, with an estimated worth of $64 million -- nearly one-third of what the Galaxy is estimated to be worth. Forbes said Chivas USA had revenues of $15 million and an operating loss of $5.5 million, both figures the worst in MLS.


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