Tuesday, July 19, 2011
CHIVAS USA: Fraser knows not of Algerian
By Scott French
The French-born Algerian striker that a French website claims has passed his physical and will be joining Chivas USA momentarily? Forget about it. Robin Fraser says it isn't happening.
“I don't even know who you're talking about ...,” the Goats coach said when asked Tuesday about Belgium-based forward Mohamed “Momo” Dahmane. “You're saying French-Algerian, I'm like, 'Hmm, I'll take [Zinedine] Zidane.' I don't know who you're talking about.”
Dahmane, 29, played the latter half of last season for KAS Eupen in Belgium's top-tier Jupiler League after starting the campaign for Burcaspor in Turkey. He has spent much of his career in Belgium but played in French club Lens' youth system, and Lensois.com, a website that covers the region near Lens, reported Sunday that he “should begin soon” with Chivas.
The Goats are actively seeking a forward, among other things, during the transfer window that opened Friday, and Fraser and general manager Jose Domene said following Saturday's draw with New York that such a signing was imminent, or nearly so.
Fraser said Tuesday that it was “not likely” that a new player would be in place by Saturday night's game against Houston at Home Depot Center, not was it likely that a prospective player will have arrived for a physical and final contract negotiations by then.
ALL-STARS: Nick LaBrocca reports that his family back in New Jersey is hopping after his selection to Major League Soccer's All-Star roster for the July 27 clash with Manchester United in Harrison, N.J.
“They're excited,” said LaBrocca, an attacking midfielder who leads Chivas with six goals. “I talked to them yesterday. I could tell they were glowing. I'm excited to go home and play in front of them again.”
LaBrocca and defender Heath Pearce were among a dozen players added by New York Red Bulls coach Hans Backe to the game-day roster for the league's annual exhibition, and they're looking at it as more than just individual acclaim.
“It's more of a team honor to have two guys represented, not just myself and Nick ...,” said Pearce, who as an FC Dallas outside back played against Man United in last year's All-Star Game. “Obviously, none of this would've happened without the support of the team, support of the coaches. The team's done well, especially coming off of a season like last season. The team has really bounced back well this season, and I think that's what's given Nick and I the opportunity to represent the team at the All-Star Game.”
Said Fraser: “The All-Star thing is, I think, fantastic for the two players, but they're not going to get there if the team isn't doing something right. I'm sure [their selections are] some measure of success. And to be honest, there's a measure of pride, because this group works extremely hard, and they're extremely unselfish, and they're happy for the two that are the All-Stars.”
LaBrocca said his parents, Lou and Roseann, and older brother, Lou, would be attending, and he'll likely see some cousins and plenty of friends in the stands, too. He's looking forward to playing against a club the caliber of Man United.
“I was lucky enough in one preseason [when I was with the Colorado Rapids] to play against some of the Arsenal reserves,” he said. “Played against guys like Robin van Persie and Theo Walcott, some others. ... [Manchester United has] great players. They're obviously one of the best clubs in the world. ... They're top-class.”
WORTH NOTING: Midfielder Paulo Nagamura (quad strain) and left back Ante Jazic (calf strain) have returned to full training and, Fraser said, “appear to be in the mix” as he decides the lineup for Saturday's game. ... Forward Alejandro Moreno has found unexpected success at Copa America, South America's nations championship, with Venezuela reaching the semifinals (while powers Argentina, Brazil and Chile have been knocked out.) The Vinotinto meet Paraguay in a semifinal Wednesday, with Saturday's third-place game or Sunday's final to follow. Moreno, who likely would have been back in time for last weekend's game had Venezuela, as expected, failed to reach the tournament's knockout stage, will be missing for the eighth time in nine games against Houston. “We'd love to have him back,” Fraser said, “but guys play for the honor of playing for their country. It's a huge thing. So I'm excited for him, for sure.” ... Chivas shot its annual team photo Monday on the beach at San Pedro.