With the end of another Major League Soccer season comes another agonizing chapter in the life of Chivas USA. With no more than 5,000 people appearing to home matches, Chivas is on its way out of this league.

According to reports released this week, the league-owned club will likely fold this season – leaving the league with an even 20 teams (with New York City FC and Orlando joining the fray). Chivas has truly fallen from grace, in an ever-changing soccer landscape in North America.

The team Chivas (Spanish for goats) was brought into the league back in 2004, as a franchise catered to the large Mexican population in Los Angeles. In fact, the club’s namesake is taken from the Mexican giants of Club Deportivo Guadalajara, to which Chivas is a subsidiary of.

Back then, the ethnic population was seen as an untapped resource to the many who were looking to grow the professional side of soccer in this part of the world. C.D. Guadalajara’s owner was looking to enter MLS, and the league was more than a willing partner.

Those early years were very successful for Chivas. They finished atop the Western Conference, made the playoffs four out of five seasons and kept well above the league attendance average. Back then Chivas and the LA Galaxy – who both played out of the Home Depot Centre – were two of the more successful clubs in the league. Then David Beckham came to Los Angeles.

Now, I’m not saying Beckham’s involvement with the Galaxy was a reason for the slow demise of Chivas, but it certainly did not help.

Over the next few seasons, LA became the best team in the league, Seattle Sounders came into the league swinging and the Western Conference became incredibly tough. This saw Chivas sink to the bottom of the conference. For the past four years, the team has not finished anything higher than last place. Constant on-the-field troubles have put the team down a rocky path that leads it to the brink of extinction.

Obviously attendance is not the most important thing when it comes to a club’s financial status, but it certainly tells a tale. From 2010 to 2014, the average attendance dropped from 14,000 to 4,000 – leaving the club in dire straights.

Unfortunately, their own management hasn’t really helped them either. In 2012, Jorge Vergara – who was majority owner of both C.D. Guadalajara and Chivas – bought out the rest of the investors in Chivas USA, assuming complete control of the club. In just a few months, the majority of American or non-Mexican players on the first team started to dwindle.

During this fire sale, two non-Latino youth coaches filed a discrimination lawsuit against the club after Vergara allegedly told his staff he would fire anyone who didn’t speak Spanish. MLS bought the club from Vergara this past offseason, in the hopes of finding an owner who would rebrand Chivas and keep it in Los Angeles.

But after a full season, it doesn’t look like that is going to happen. There are countless reports linking the league with new expansion cities, leaving Chivas in limbo. It was an experiment, perhaps even a gimmick that marked the end of an era for MLS.