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Chivas USA, Real Salt Lake: What RSL can learn from the demise of 2005 expansion sibling

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

In 2005, two teams entered MLS, and it's increasingly looking like only one team will escape the fateful maw of ownership struggles.

When Real Salt Lake was having trouble getting a stadium built, there was a very real risk that the team would move somewhere like St. Louis (Real St. Louis, heh) and Salt Lake City would be left without a team. Dave Checketts was supportive and adamant, and it eventually went through — but it wasn't easy.

Now, Chivas USA are facing that same fateful maw as they are increasingly likely swallowed up into the void of MLS expansion troubles, according to an ESPN report.

Expansion's not easy when you've got competition

Building a team from scratch, maybe especially with associations of a popular but certainly polarizing team pushing from behind. Chivas USA struggled to gain a true foothold. Their fans were not numerous, but plenty were ardent — but averaging something like 7,000 tickets sold — not people attending, mind — was more than just problematic.

Los Angeles Galaxy remained by far the more popular team in the city, and with signings like David Beckham and Robbie Keane — who attract consistent press and attention — took away from the visibility of Chivas USA.

The West will be incredibly difficult in 2015

Chivas USA were not exactly tearing it up in MLS — they've been pretty dismal for years now — and smart money has Sporting Kansas City and Houston Dynamo switching to the Western Conference next year with Orlando City and New York City FC arriving on the scene. The two mid-western teams have been among the top in MLS in recent years.

Of course, MLS being what it is, their relative successes continuing is by no means a guarantee, but it does make every playoff picture for the foreseeable future hazy. It's looking like a two-year suspension for Chivas USA is the thing.

There could be a dispersal draft

We might lose a player or two, but there could be an opportunity to snag somebody from Chivas USA. Is there anybody we'd want? It's tough to say, but why not have a look?

We're lucky here in Salt Lake City

This doesn't need too much explanation. In this, the tenth year of Real Salt Lake's existence, we're reminded once again that we're lucky we exist. Let's not forget that.