But judging by the crowds, the club has trouble giving away tickets. Chivas’ attendance is next-to-last in the league at 12,191 per game. However, like all MLS teams, those numbers reflect only the number of tickets distributed. Most crowds have looked like Sunday’s, with the 27,000-seat stadium about three-quarters empty. To address the matter, the club on Tuesday announced the hiring of Shawn Hunter as president and CEO. Hunter, a former president of AEG Sports – the company that owns Home Depot Center and the Galaxy – is new to soccer, but he developed the marketing plans for the Colorado Avalanche and the Phoenix Coyotes when they were welcomed to town with near-capacity crowds. “This brand has unbelievable potential, and notice I use the word potential because we are far from where we want to be,” said Hunter, who was given an undisclosed stake in the club. “One of my jobs is to unlock the fan base.” Hunter, who said the product on the field needed no improvement, offered no specifics on how he’d spark attendance, and wasn’t interested in discussing what missteps Chivas has taken thus far. But he said the club would continue to emphasize its relationship with Chivas de Guadalajara, whose owner Jorge Vergara, is co-owner of Chivas USA. “To be honest with you, it’s something we talk about,” said midfielder Francisco Mendoza, who has been with Chivas USA since its inception. “But I don’t know. As long as we keep playing good soccer, that’s all we can do.” [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SOCCER: Team hires Hunter as president and CEO to bolster crowds. By Billy Witz STAFF WRITER Ana Estrada couldn’t have been happier Sunday evening, sitting with her brother, Miguel, who was wearing a Mexico jersey, and her father, a die-hard Chivas de Guadalajara fan, as they watched Chivas USA put the finishing touches on a 3-0 victory over the New York Red Bulls. “We need things like this to bring people together, to bring families together,” the Inglewood resident said of her first Chivas USA game. A couple sections over, Jeff Sussman had one eye on the action and another on his three kids, who had plenty of empty seats to roam around. “Where else can you go and relax like this?” said the Manhattan Beach resident, who was taking in his second game. “It’s so much better to get in and out of than Dodger Stadium and the Coliseum. It’s easy.” Besides leaving Home Depot Center with smiles on their faces, Estrada and Sussman also had something else in common. They didn’t pay for their tickets, getting them through friends with the club or through their jobs. In its third season, Chivas USA has established itself as a MLS Cup contender – a win over the Galaxy on Thursday in the usually well-attended Super Clasico would vault it into first place in the Western Conference. The Goats have done it with an attacking, skillful brand of soccer that should be a hit with fans.