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Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Chivas sends Sal Zizzo to Portland

By Scott French

After giving up a good chunk of allocation money in the deal to bring in veteran defender Heath Pearce from FC Dallas, Chivas USA recovered some of it Wednesday in a trade sending midfielder Sal Zizzo to the Portland Timbers.

Zizzo, 23, a former UCLA standout from San Diego, joined the Goats via a lottery last July following three frustrating seasons in Germany with Hannover 96. Used as a wide midfielder, he made 10 appearances for Chivas with one start and one assist.

Zizzo figured to be in the running for a starting job on the wing for Chivas, but Francisco Mendoza's return from Mexico -- he hasn't yet signed with Chivas, but it's a matter of time -- has strengthened the Goats on the flanks. Mendoza and Michael Lahoud seem the likeliest wing starters.


“Zizzo is a player we’ve been interested in pursuing for some time now,” Timbers general manager Gavin Wilkinson said in a statement. “We are delighted to add such a quality player to our roster.”

The clubs and league won't make public the allocation figures in these, or any, trades, but Pearce unquestionably cost more than Zizzo brought in, probably by a substantial margin. Allocation money can be used to acquire players or “pay down” salaries to fit under the salary cap.