Major League Soccer will look a little bit different for the start of the 2015 season, after the league announced some key changes today.
Chivas USA will cease operations with immediate effect, and a new Los Angeles-based side will be announced on Thursday, to begin playing in 2017.
The decision to remove Chivas from MLS was made by the MLS Board of Governors, and MLS Commissioner Don Garber revealed the reason behind the key decision.
“As part of our new strategy for Southern California – a major hotbed of soccer participation and fan support, we believe that engaging with a new ownership group which has the resources and local community ties, and a plan for a dedicated soccer-specific stadium, provides us with the best chance for success,” he said.
With Orlando City SC and New York City FC set to enter the league next season, MLS has had to shake up the conference alignment.
As a result, the two new franchises will enter the Eastern Conference, while Sporting Kansas City and Houston Dynamo will have to face new rivals in the Western Conference.
This means that Major League soccer will have two 10-team conferences for the first time.
The 20 sides will play 34 regular season matches once again, and clubs will play teams in the opposing conferences once for five home and five away matches.
That will cover 10 games, and the remaining 24 fixtures will be played against sides from within the same conference.
Teams will play their nine conference rivals at least twice (one home and one away game), plus six additional games against teams from the same conference – three home, three away.
What do you make of the latest changes to the MLS setup?