Friday, April 15, 2011
CHIVAS USA: Goats pass on Jason Banton, for now
By Scott French
Jason Banton won't be joining Chivas USA -- at least not right now.
The Goats decided to pass on signing the 18-year-old English winger/forward before Friday's close of the transfer window to bring in players under contract to foreign clubs, but they have placed him on their "discovery" list and will continue to monitor his development.
It is possible Chivas might sign the Liverpool FC academy player during the summer transfer window, which is open July 15-Aug. 15, a club official said.
Banton showed his quality during a weeklong trial with the Goats, and he scored one goal and set up another in the Chivas reserves' 2-0 victory last weekend over the L.A. Blues, but his age worked against him -- and so apparently did the opportunity to acquire U.S. national team midfielder Benny Feilhaber, who transfered Friday to Major League Soccer from Denmark's AGF Aarhus.
The club ultimately decided that Banton's youth made him a risk as the club rebuilds under Fraser, who was hired in early January.
Chivas USA, atop MLS's "allocation" table, has first dibs on Feilhaber, an attacking midfielder from Irvine, and must decide by Tuesday afternoon whether they will sign him. Head coach Robin Fraser declined to discuss the Feilhaber opportunity Friday night as he worked on final preparations for Saturday afternoon's match at Vancouver.