CHIVAS USA: Decision on Bowen ahead
CARSON -- Tristan Bowen's loan deal in Belgium is running out, and Chivas USA will soon need to decide what to do with him. It's too early to tell at the moment.
The 21-year-old striker from Van Nuys has been off gaining experience at second-tier KSV Roeselare since late August. He's made 23 first-team appearances, a dozen of them starts, over 31 games, scoring three goals.
KSVR's final match in the second-tier Tweedeklasse is Sunday at FC Brussels, and he won't be eligible to return to Chivas' lineup until June 27, when the summer transfer window opens.
“We have a plan to go see him, to see whether he makes sense for us come back or if we want him back,” general manager Jose Domene said following Chivas' MLS Reserve League game Monday against Seattle. “We'll see. [Roselare does not] have an option to buy him, it's just whether he comes back or we loan him again.”
Bowen, a Home Grown Player that Chivas acquired in a trade from the Galaxy in December 2010 -- about three weeks before Robin Fraser was hired -- has received playing time with Roeselare that would have been impossible with the Goats. He's a raw talent with good potential, but he made only three MLS appearances (covering 63 minutes) in five months with Chivas last year, along with one in the U.S. Open Cup and two in the MLS Reserve League.
Roeselare has used him in 22 league games and one Belgian Cup match for a total of 927 minutes -- a little more than 10 full games. He scored goals in a Jan. 14 victory over Eendracht Aalst (two minutes after coming on as a late substitute), a loss March 3 to AFC Tubize (giving KSVR a 10th-minute lead) and a draw April 14 at KSK Heist (providing a 12th-minute lead).
Fraser, asked in Bowen was in his plans, noted that “certainly for the first part of the season, we figure he's going to be gone, and we're focused on the group we have at the moment. Certainly he can be contributing member. We've seen Tristan be a good player. So depending on what happens with his situation in Belgium, then we're always excited about having good players.”
Chivas had three players away on loan last season. In addition to Bowen, midfielder Gerson Mayen (Los Angeles/Manual Arts HS) was off playing for the Fort Lauderdale Strikers in the second-division North American Soccer League and forward Chukwudi Chijindu (Fontana/Damien HS) with the L.A. Blues in the third-division USL Pro. Mayen was traded to the expansion Montreal Impact last fall, didn't make the roster and is set to play with L.A. Misioneros in the USL Premier Development League, Misioneros officials say. Chijindu's option was declined in December, and he signed with the USL Pro's Wilmington Hammerheads.
Roeselare is 9-12-12 and in 12th place in the 18-team Tweedeklasse.