The Goats have reason to be a tad optimistic moving forward.
It's been eight months since MLS supporters purchased a scrolling LED night sign to show their discontent. "Fuera Vergara" is still the mantra surrounding the club, but there has been improvement since that fateful June night.
Now, no one is insane enough to claim Chivas MLS Cup contenders after finishing 6-20-8 last season. But enough acquisitions were made last year and during the offseason to soften the punchlines that proliferated after a scathing segment on HBO's Real Sports.
This club, if anything, will be competitive in 2014.
A veteran presence was established in July of last year when Carlos Bocanegra decided to return from Europe and settled down in his native California. The additions of Mauro Rosales and Andrew Jean-Baptiste further established that MLS presence and will provide the club enough talent to remain competitive.
A changing philosophy in player personnel was met by a change in the coaching ranks.
An assistant with the Colorado Rapids and a longtime U.S. Soccer youth coach, head coach Wilmer Cabrera is far removed from the type of hires synonymous with the Rojiblancos.
There are no ties with the mother ship known as Chivas Guadalajara.
As Blair Angulo points out on MLS's official website, baby steps towards success are all that concern Cabrera in 2014:
We have received the challenge and have the support from the owners, front office and Paco Palencia as the sporting director. That's the first step toward starting a project – you need support and need to be well prepared. We're going to be united. We want to be a team that will be prepared in everything we do. [On Monday] we started the right way and, with that commitment, we can change things that didn't go well last year. Little by little, we can get better results.
That all sounds well and good in an offseason press conference, but the results must still be obtained. They'll be difficult to come by in a toughened Western Conference, so don't expect leaps and bounds in 2014.
But don't expect another scrolling LED night sign, either.
Changes are abound.