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CHIVAS USA: Chivas pass on Ochoa, too

8/26/2011

CARSON -- Riverside's Sammy Ochoa is coming to Major League Soccer. Just not to Chivas USA.

The Goats on Friday passed on the chance to add the Mexican Primera Division veteran to their roster, the third time they've declined a player available through the league's allocation process.

Ochoa (Riverside Poly HS), 24, who has spent the past five years with Estudiantes Tecos, signed Wednesday with MLS and was allocated Friday to the Seattle Sounders.

“We passed on Ochoa,” Chivas head coach Robin Fraser said in a text message Friday afternoon. “Roster spot and salary cap reasons.”

Earlier Friday, Fraser said “the considerations [in making a decision] really are salary and salary-cap implications and roster spots and things like that. Certainly, he's a player who is interesting, interesting because of the route he's gone and where he's been and what he's done. Certainly, roster-spot and salary-cap implications are of paramount importance.”

Chivas, which sits atop the league's allocation table, previously passed when it had first refusal on U.S. national team midfielders Benny Feilhaber, who went to New England, and Freddy Adu, who joined Philadelphia.

Houston and Toronto FC had next calls on Ochoa, but both passed, and the Sounders acquired him after trading a third-round selection in next year's SuperDraft to Chicago to trade spots in the allocation order. Seattle moved up from sixth to fourth. Ochoa was on trial with the Sounders in early June.

Chivas started the year in the fourth slot on the table, based on 2010 results. The Goats moved to the top when Vancouver, Portland and D.C. United acquired players through the allocation mechanism, which is used to distribute U.S. national-teamers and players who previously turned down MLS contracts. Ochoa played for the U.S. at the 2005 FIFA U-20 World Cup and for the U-23 national team during preparations for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

NAGAMURA OUT: Midfielder Paulo Nagamura suffered a broken fifth metatarsal in Wednesday's loss at Portland and has undergone surgery to repair his right foot. Fraser noted that he'd had the same injury four times during his playing career, and the longest he was sidelined was eight weeks.

Should Nagamura, who has endured an injury-riddled campaign, be out as long, he would be returning to the field as Chivas was preparing for its final regular-season game, Oct. 22 against Seattle. The Goats are hopeful he can return by early October.

Nagamura was injured in the first half Wednesday. So was right back Michael Lahoud, who departed after just 11 minutes with a sprained ankle. Lahoud said Friday he hoped to be ready for Saturday's game at Home Depot Center against Real Salt Lake, and Fraser termed him “day to day.”

BOWEN ON LOAN: The Goats have sent forward Tristan Bowen on loan to Belgian second-division club KSV Roeselare, a semipro club from the West Flanders region located about 50 miles west of Brussels.

Bowen, 20, from Van Nuys, has played in only three league games for Chivas, and none since June 25. He also hasn't been on the 18-player game roster since then.

“It's a great opportunity for him. We're excited for him ...,” Fraser said. “He's been here for awhile, in L.A. Maybe he's become a little stagnant. I think for a player with such wonderful potential, it's a great opportunity to step into a new environment and really just make a difference there and continue for his game to grow.

“I think it's a great move for him. The experience of being overseas, the experience of being on your own -- these growth experiences, I think, are important for Tristan, and because of all that, his soccer will blossom, too.”

Bowen came to Chivas in an offseason trade from the Galaxy, which signed him from its academy. He made 19 appearances in two seasons for the Galaxy, all but one them last year, and scored two goals with two assists. He also games on loan with Hollywood United and Miami FC while with the Galaxy.

He will play for former Ukrainian national-teamwer Serhiy Serebrennikov, acquired on loan from Cercle Brugge to be a player/manager for Roeselare. The club is off to a 1-0-1 start, with a 3-0 romp Wednesday over Charleroi, and next play Sept. 4 at Eendracht Aalst.

Chivas has two other players away on loan. Forward Chukwudi Chijindu, who played for third-tier USL Pro side L.A. Blues this summer, is eligible to return to the Goats, but Fraser said no decision has been reached on his next step. Midfielder Gerson Mayen is with the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the second-tier North American Soccer League.