A former league executive is set to oversee the club in 2014 while MLS looks for a new ownership group.Former Major League Soccer executive Nelson Rodriguez has been appointed president of Chivas USA, the league and club announced Wednesday.
MLS purchased Chivas USA from Jorge Vergara last week with plans to secure new ownership for the club before the end of 2014. Rodriguez was previously the Executive Vice President of Competition, Technical and Game Operations for the league. He quietly resigned from the league office this winter after 14 years there. His most public role at that job was heading the league's Disciplinary Committee, but he was also involved in a number of other initiatives designed to improve competition on the field and boost the league's influence off it.
“I have had the privilege of working with Nelson for over 14 years and am very pleased that he has agreed to serve as the president of Chivas USA," MLS commissioner Don Garber said in a news release. "Based on his long experience on both the business and sporting side of our game, I have great confidence that he will provide strong leadership for the club during this transition year.”
It likely won't be an easy transition. Chivas USA has struggled in nearly every realm, though the team has improved this offseason under new head coach Wilmer Cabrera. The club recently signed English Premier League veteran Luke Moore, in addition to Mauro Rosales and Bofo Bautista joining the club this offseason. Chivas de Guadalajara loanee Erick Torres is also expected to continue playing a key role before he leaves the club in the summer.
“I am thankful for the opportunity and recognize the responsibility in what is an important season for the club,” Rodríguez said. “Regardless of the ownership status, this team and staff will compete on all fronts and we look forward to the challenge.”