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Friday, January 20, 2012
CHIVAS USA: Vagenas adds experience

By Scott French

CARSON -- Peter Vagenas has been a part of teams that have won eight trophies in a 12-year Major League Soccer career, playing a significant role in some of the triumphs, and that alone makes him attractive to Chivas USA.

The veteran midfielder from Pasadena (St. Francis HS/UCLA) joined the Goats' preseason preparations this week and is set to sign with the club, likely on Saturday.

Peter Vagenas
Midfielder Peter Vagenas of Chivas USA.
“We told you we were looking for experienced players, right? And Pete's been through the wars,” Chivas coach Robin Fraser said after Friday morning's fitness session at Home Depot Center. “He's won championships, he's been a very instrumental part of very good teams in this league. When the opportunity came up to get him, it was something we really had to jump at.”

Vagenas, 33, comes to Chivas after a season with Vancouver, in which he started 13 of the 16 league games in which he appeared. He spent the previous two years with Seattle, making 21 league appearances, after nine seasons with the Galaxy.

He helped L.A. win two MLS Cups, two U.S. Open Cups, a CONCACAF Champions' Cup and the 2002 Supporters' Shield, captaining the Galaxy to a MLS Cup/U.S. Open Cup “double” in 2005. He also was with two U.S. Open Cup-winning sides with Seattle.

“We've known Pete ... gosh, his first year was my last year with the Galaxy. So I've known him a long time,” Fraser said. “[Assistant coach] Greg [Vanney] and Jim [Liston, the fitness coach] know him even better than I do. ... Pete's the kind of guy who has been an important part of locker rooms with very successful teams. And we keep coming back to that, looking for guys who have track record of success. And he's been very good.”

Vagenas, who said he'd prefer to comment once things were finalized, is a central midfielder “who's a very technically good player in tight spaces, has great ideas with the ball,” Fraser said. He adds to Chivas' phenomenal midfield depth: The Goats have 11 midfielders, all capable of starting.

Asked what role he foresaw for Vagenas, Fraser said: “To be honest, the message is the same to Pete as it is to everyone else: You've got to come battle for a position. ... He's always figured in the middle part of midfield of these very good teams I've mentioned, so certainly he puts himself in the mix for competing in the middle of our midfield.”

WORTH NOTING: Fraser said he doesnt “have a feeling” on goalkeeper Brian Rowe, a supplemental draft choice from UCLA who is on trial in Finland with VPS Vaasa. ... Juan Pablo Angel's deal with Chivas could be finalized over the weekend. ... Former Goats midfielder Francisco Mendoza will be on trial with the Montreal Impact during the club's 12-day camp in Mexico, reported. Mendoza was Impact coach Jesse Marsch's teammate with the Goats from 2006 to 2008.

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