Tuesday, March 20, 2012
CHIVAS USA: Trialist decisions? Not yet
By Scott French
Still no decisions on most of the trialists still in camp with Chivas USA, but Santa Ana's Kevin Huezo will not become a Goat.
Rodrigo Lopez has been with Chivas USA before and is again on trial with the Goats.
Huezo (Segerstrom HS), who has played in Pachuca's system and was in camp with Colorado during preseason, has been released from Chivas' camp, head coach Robin Fraser reported, but seven players remain in the running for roster slots -- with more possibly to come.
“We're still looking, still looking at different players, different positions,” Fraser told ESPN Los Angeles on Tuesday. “Still looking around the world.”
Chivas has 26 players on their roster, with five more additions possible. The Major League Soccer maximum is 30, including players away on loan (such as forward Tristan Bowen, who is in Belgium), but midfielder Marvin Iraheta is on the disabled list because of a torn anterior cruciate ligament, and his spot is open.
The Goats are in pursuit of a South American player, according to a source with knowledge of the situation, and expect to sign him within the next week or so. Another source said the player was from Colombia, the top foreign provider of MLS talent, with 28 players, 14 of them newcomers this season. Chivas striker Juan Pablo Angel is Colombian.
Defenders Matt Dallman, Patrick Kanyuka and Mario Ledesma, midfielders Rodrigo Lopez, Cameron Artigliere and Ernesto Hutchinson, and forward John Owoeri remain in camp on trial. Fraser said he planned to make decisions “within a day or two” on Owoeri, a former Nigerian youth international who scored three goals in Sunday's 6-1 rout of UC Riverside, and Ledesma (Woodland Hills/El Camino Real HS), who has been in camp from the start.
Decisions on the others could come sooner -- or later. Dallman, a childhood friend of Heath Pearce's who arrived after four years in Germany, is sidelined with a hamstring injury, and Fraser would like to see him healthy before deciding.
Lopez, Kanyuka and Artigliere debuted in the UC Riverside game. Congolese-born, English-raised Kanyuka was on trial last week with Leeds United; Artigliere, who has played in Germany and was training with Chivas' U-18 team, is a former high school teammate of Ledesma's (and Chicago Fire forward Orr Barouch's).
Lopez, from Santa Barbara, was with Chivas from 2005 through 2007, spent last season with Portland and was with San Jose during preseason. He “did quite well” in central midfield against UCR and is “certainly someone we will consider,” Fraser said.
Fraser has prized opportunities to bring into camp potential signings since taking charge 14½ months ago, and he's had 21 trialists in camp since preseason opened Jan. 15, signing four of them: goalkeeper Patrick McLain, defenders Rauwshan McKenzie and Scott Gordon, and forward Cesar Romero.
There also were five unsigned draft choices in camp -- all released -- and five Chivas Academy players involved, with Glendora's Marco Delgado a likely Home Grown Player signing.
“I think you always feel like you need to get better,” Fraser said. “Certainly, in our position, we want to take every possible opportunity to get better. … We feel like we need to make decisions that will make us better, and when we bring players on, they have to be players we think will improve us.”
WORTH NOTING: Forward Chris Cortez, who spent last season with the Goats but was released Feb. 26, reported on his Facebook page that he is joining the second-tier NASL's Minnesota Stars. Supplemental draft choice Fabian Kling, who spent three weeks in preseason camp, is with NASL expansion side San Antonio Scorpions. … Chivas officially announced Gordon's acquistion. The tall defender, who played last year for Fort Lauderdale in the NASL, signed Friday and was on the bench for Saturday's loss to Vancouver. … Chivas (0-2-0) plays Saturday night at Real Salt Lake (2-0-0). Fraser, of course, was an assistant coach at RSL before Chivas hired him.