CHIVAS USA: Club signs Romero


Cesar Romero has toiled in Mexico's and Germany's lower divisions and in a semipro indoor league. Now he's headed to Major League Soccer.

The 22-year-old forward from San Diego signed with Chivas USA, the club announced Wednesday, after impressing during five preseason matches. Chivas plays Wednesday night against Club Tijuana in San Diego.

The former U.S. youth national-teamer, from youth-club giant San Diego Surf, played last year with third-tier Murcielagos and was with indoor club Tijuana Revolucion, from the Professional Arena Soccer League, when he joined Chivas' camp.

Romero has two goals in preseason matches, tied for the league lead, after tallying off the bench in a 5-0 romp of minor-leaguers FC Hasental and last week's 3-2 loss to the Galaxy.

Romero was expected to sign -- the club offered him a contract nearly two weeks ago. Chivas also announced it has signed midfielder Peter Vagenas, who has been on board since the end of January, and defender Rauwshan McKenzie, who completed his contract last week.

Romero is a versatile forward capable of running off a target man and finishing like a target man.

“Cesar, the thing I like about him is I think in most every game he's played for us, he's had a goalscoring opportunity,” Chivas coach Robin Fraser said last week. “He seems to have a good nose for the goal. He has good feet.

“He still has a ways to go in terms of his full understanding of the position, but he's promising. ... He's showing some ability to be dangerous in this league; I think every team's looking for guys who can be dangerous.”

Chivas has two returning players in camp who have not yet signed -- forwards Juan Pablo Angel, who has said all camp that it will be finalized “very shortly,” and Chris Cortez -- and eight non-roster invitees hoping for a job. The roster must be down to 30 players by March 1; including trialists, draft choices, Home Grown Player possibilities and on-loan striker Tristan Bowen, the Goats have 34 players for those 30 slots.