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Friday, December 17, 2010
CHIVAS USA: Mexican goalkeeper on the way?

By Scott French

Of the many spots on the lineup card in which Chivas USA needs an upgrade, goalkeeper isn't one of them -- and, as always, there are a ton of fine netminders in the U.S. if it was.

But Jorge Vergara, one of the club's owners -- also owner of big Chivas: Club Deportivo Guadalajara -- says the Goats are getting a new one from Mexico.

Vergara told ESPN Deportes radio that Sergio Arias, one of Mexico's most promising young netminders, will be joining Chivas USA next season.

Arias, who will be 23 in February, was one of the backups to Guadalajara starter Luis Michel during the Mexican Primera Division's fall Apertura, but he hasn't yet made his first-team league debut for the club.

The 6-foot-2 keeper emerged from Guadalajara's youth system and starred on the Mexican side that won the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2005 and played for Mexico at the 2007 Panamerican Games. He made 36 appearances on loan to second-tier Dorados de Sinaloa in 2007-08.

Arias was set to join Gallos Blancos de Queretaro in Mexico's Primera Division on loan, but Vergara said the agreement was canceled “because we needed him to go to Chivas USA, we want the goalkeeper at Chivas USA.”

Zach Thornton, 37, has been Chivas USA's No. 1 goalkeeper since 2008; he was MLS's Goalkeeper of the Year in 2009. Dan Kennedy (Yorba Linda/El Dorado HS and UC Santa Barbara), who missed the last 2 months of last season with a torn biceps muscle and all of 2009 with a knee injury, is a worthy backup.

And we like Kevin Guppy (Chino Hills/Chino Hills HS and Cal State Northridge), an MLS pool goalkeeper (available to any team requiring one) who saw action for the Goats last year.

Arias clearly has a future with Guadalajara, but he needs games, and Vergara's hope is he'll get them with Chivas USA. This is how the relationship between the clubs should work, with our Goats taking top prospects on loan from the mother club, but a playmaking midfielder, sturdy defender or steady finisher up top would be a better value.