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Chivas edging perilously close to relegation

Chivas edging perilously close to relegation

Posted by Juan Gavasa on January 13, 2015

One by one, the pieces conspired to leave Chivas in last place in the relegation table after the opening round of matches in the Liga MX's Clausura 2015.

Calculated over the past three years or six short seasons, the fall puts into sharp focus just how poor this Chivas outfit has been for some time.

Saturday's 2-1 away loss to Chiapas wasn't a huge disaster in itself, but with relegation rivals Puebla, Leones Negros and Veracruz all winning and looking like they won't be rolling over and accepting the drop, Chivas have nowhere to hide. The relegation battle is more real than ever, with one team set to fall into the second division in May.

Worryingly for Chivas fans, incoming players Marco Fabian and Isaac Brizuela failed to provide the attacking spark the team seemed to lack last season, while Angel Reyna again flopped. At the back, blatant errors led to both Chiapas goals, and a sense of anxiety pervaded Jose Manuel "Chepo" de la Torre's side, the same as it did last season.

Erick "Cubo" Torres and Fernando Arce played in the under-20s game earlier Saturday, presumably because they aren't match-fit yet. Expect both to be involved next Sunday against Pumas.

The albatross that has hung around the club's neck for the past six months doesn't appear to be going anywhere soon, with a tight race until the latter stages of the season the most likely outcome.

Possible sale?

Rumors of a possible sale by owners Jorge Vergara and Angelica Fuentes persist once again, and this time there is evidence that major changes are afoot at Chivas.

According to a document obtained by La Aficion and signed by Fuentes, an extraordinary general meeting of shareholders will be held on Jan. 23. The interesting part is the first matter of business to be discussed: the proposal, debate and possible approval of a transfer of shares made on Nov. 30, 2014.

Exactly what that entails is unclear. It could simply be the transfer of shares between existing owners, or to a third party and a new majority owner of the storied Mexican institution.

There have been recurring rumors for some time about a possible sale of the club, some as recently as earlier this month, although Vergara took to social media to deliver a message that seemed to dispel them on Jan. 2. "When you find out who bought it [the club], let me know so I can send the bill," he said.

One thing all this doesn't help is the team remaining focused at a vital moment in its history, although fans will undoubtedly greet the news positively considering the situation the club is in.

Morales to the U.S.

Coras de Tepic striker Julio Morales will join up with the U.S. national team this week, having featured for Mexico in the 2013 U-20 World Cup last year.

The Glendale, California, native is on loan from Chivas, and the chances of him returning to the team, who field only Mexican players and those who choose to play for El Tri, appear to be slim considering he accepted the U.S. call-up.

It's an awkward part of Chivas' policy that doesn't sit well with many, although it is popular with the club's hard-core fan base. It's difficult to deny a player like Morales, who played just five games for second-division Coras last season, the opportunity to suit up for the United States. The result is that Chivas could lose out on all the time and resources invested in scouting and developing the player if he does eventually become good enough for the first team.

There is a similar gray area with Chivas U-20 defender Luis Martir, who played for the U.S. U-20 and Chivas' youth sides in the second half of 2014. That appears to be a flagrant breach of the club's policy, although Chivas have made no comment on the situation, unlike when they publicly stated that their former left-back Juan Pablo Ocegueda, also from California, would not be accepting any future U.S. call-ups.

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