Chivas de Guadalajara v Chivas USA

After five years of existence and a less than expected response from their connection to their Mexican cousins, Chivas USA finally squeezed a friendly out of Chivas de Guadalajara. Dubbed the "ChivaClasico", the game took placed last night at the Rose Bowl, with the Mexican giants defeated their American namesakes 2-0 on two late goals by Omar Arellano.

Yet, as with most high-profile friendlies, especially in light of the success of Soccer United Marketing's "Summer of Soccer", the results on the field matter less than the success in the stands and the exposure the clubs receive. While the game was probably still a win for both clubs, last night's friendly, especially in the context of others in 2009, was ultimately a disappointment.

The "ChivaClasico" drew 22,879, in a stadium that holds over 100,000, and in a city with a massive Mexican population. Chivas Guadalajara is one of the most well-supported Mexican clubs, and surely has enough passionate support in LA to attract what amounts to a sellout at the Home Depot Center. The two clubs, and Chivas USA in particular, being the hosts for the match, surely thought the game would do much better; I assume that if they knew the game would draw less than 27,000 (capacity at the HDC), they would have simply played the match there.

So who failed here? The Galaxy's friendly at the Rose Bowl, though admittedly involving star power on the MLS side as well as the visiting club side, drew a sell-out at the same stadium. Perhaps it's unfair to expect that sort of turnout for a game involving none of the world-renowned stars that AC Milan or the Galaxy possess, but the name "Chivas" has it's own particular pull; I'm at a loss to explain why a game involving one of the biggest clubs in this part of the world, and one with a strong fan base in the LA-area, wasn't able to attract a larger crowd.
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