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MLS exit interviews: Waving goodbye to 9 teams (one forever); how did they do in 2014?

Portland Timbers against the San Jose Earthquakes

Diego Valeri


After Chivas USA’s permanent exit from Major League Soccer was confirmed on Monday, this feature has taken a whole new twist.

With Chivas’ time in MLS up forever, as the team will be relaunched and rebranded in LA in 2017, we say goodbye to the Goats as they misses the playoffs for a fifth-straight season in 2014.

Seven other MLS franchises are also done, but just for this season, as we take a quick glance at the teams who didn’t make the 2014 postseason.

Here are PST’s exit interviews.


Portland Timbers

Final position: 6th Points out of the playoffs: 1 Record: 12-9-13 Verdict: A porous defense, a shocking start and damaging injuries proved to be too much for Caleb Porter’s men to handle. Even the midseason arrival of center back and DP Liam Ridgewell couldn’t halt the issues. The defending Western Conference champions stumbled time and time again just when it looked like they were back on track and crashed out of the CCL too. Disappointing season in the Rose City.

Chivas USA

Final position: 7th Points out of the playoffs: 17 Record: 9-19-6 Verdict: Well, what do we say? It’s all over for the Goats after 10 years in MLS. Great times and playoff runs under Bob Bradley and Preki have given way to scandal, distress and pain for fans of LA’s second team over the past five years. A new team will rise in downtown LA in their place, as Chivas USA are no more. Winning 1-0 in their final game of the franchise shot them up to 7th in the West and gave their long-suffering fans one last thing to celebrate before the lights were turned off for the final time.

Colorado Rapids

Final position: 8th Points out of the playoffs: 18 Record: 8-18-8 Verdict: After Oscar Pareja jumped ship over the offseason it was always going to be hard to rebuild and rookie coach Pablo Mastroeni has found it very hard in Commerce City, Col. Injuries weren’t kind to the Rapids, but they didn’t exactly help themselves with several heavy defeats along the way. The league’s worst defense conceded 62 goals. Plenty of work to do up in the Rocky Mountains.

San Jose Earthquakes

Final position: 9th Points out of the playoffs: 7 Record: 10-12-12 Verdict: The second worst season in MLS history for San Jose (ouch) as they begin a brave new era in their new stadium in 2015. Dominic Kinnear will return to coach them after leaving Houston, as Mark Watson struggled massively in his first full season in charge. The ‘Quakes suffered a record breaking 15-game winless streak. Losing Chris Wondolwoski and Victor Bernandez during the World Cup hit them hard and both players looked exhausted after returning from Brazil.

Jonathan Osorio,  Mark Bloom

A terrible year in Toronto after so much promise.



Philadelphia Union

Final position: 6th Points out of the playoffs: 7 Record: 10-12-12 Verdict: An up and down year for the Union who parted company with John Hackworth. They made the Open Cup final but lost to the Seattle Sounders on home soil in over time. Heartbreaker. That loss seemed to carry over to the final months of MLS, as interim boss Jim Curtin saw his side slip out of the playoff race with damaging defeats late in the season after they led the way. Not bad, not great, would be the assessment.

Toronto FC

Final position: 7th Points out of the playoffs: 8 Record: 11-15-8 Verdict: Where do we start? What a mess. A public spat between young GM Tim Bezbatchenko and head coach Ryan Nelsen led to the latter losing his job in August, then Jermain Defoe looked to be on his way back to the Premier League after falling out with CEO Tim Lieweke but is sticking around... for now. Defoe and Bradley suffered injuries and TFC’s form took a nosedive towards the end of the season with Greg Vanney stepping in. Eight-straight seasons without a playoff appearances for the Reds. Who will clean this mess up?

Houston Dynamo

Final position: 8th Points out of the playoffs: 10 Record: 11-17-6 Verdict: A poor season for Houston as Dominic Kinnear moves on to San Jose after being the only coach in Dynamo history. Having the worst defensive record in MLS is very “un-Houston” and the new man who comes in will have to rectify that. Big changes at BBVA on the horizon after a forgetful season in Texas. At least they will be in the Western Conference next season and get three games vs. FC Dallas.

Chicago Fire

Final position: 9th Points out of the playoffs: 13 Record: 6-10-18 Verdict: Ah, the draw specialists. Frank Yallop’s men showed plenty of promise early in the season as rookie Harry Shipp tore teams apart. Losing reigning MLS MVP Mike Magee to injury hit the Fire hard and they never recovered. All in all, a poor season. Will Yallop be around next year?

Montreal Impact

Final position: 10th Points out of the playoffs: 21 Record: 6-18-10 Verdict: The Frank Klopas experiment has so far been a bit of a nightmare at Stade Saputo. The Impact put up the lowest points tally in MLS and wholesale changes are needed to move the Black and Blue back in the right direction. It took them eight games to get a win in 2014 and losing veterans Davy Arnaud and Alessandro Nesta hit them hard. Work to do in Quebec.

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