Los Angeles Soccer: Jimmy Apsrilla
March, 1, 2011
By Scott French | ESPNLosAngeles.com
Marcos Mondaini celebrated his new pact with Chivas USA by playing atop a diamond midfield Tuesday and showing off his playmaking skills. Not too shabby, either, even if it led to nothing concrete in a 2-0 loss to Canada's under-23 national team.
“Basically, we threw him in there without much instruction at all,” Goats head coach Robin Fraser said. “We just wanted to see what his instincts were.”
“I think that he was very calm on the ball, very calm first touch, has good ideas in the attacking end.”
A fine start for the 26-year-old Argentine midfielder, who was acquired in a loan deal announced Tuesday from Uruguayan club CA Fenix. The move have Chivas a full allotment of 30 players, at least until 23-year-old defender Carlos Borja (Anaheim/Loara HS) was waived a few hours later.
Courtesy of Chivas USA Chivas USA midfielder Marcos Mondaini, who signed Tuesday, in action against Canada's U-23s at Home Depot Center.
The two biggest names among trialists are gone, too. Colombian defender Jimmy Asprilla fell victim to numbers -- too many backliners on the roster, not enough international spots to use on another -- and Trinidadian striker Stern John, the former MLS star who spent the past decade or so in England, just wasn't ready to go after surgery last year to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
“You could see he had some very good moments,” Fraser said. “You could see he's Stern John -- he's as comfortable in the box as any forward. But physically he wasn't quite ready yet, and so we left it open-ended, saying we'd love to see him get healthy and see what happens at that point.”
MORE ON MONDAINI: He has two friends with MLS experience: Real Salt Lake forward Fabian Espindola and former Columbus forward Guillermo Barros Schelotto, whom he knew while at Argentine powerhouse Boca Juniors.
“I know it's a hard league, very competitive,” he said Tuesday, and of the league's physical nature: “That's what I was talking about when I was talking to Fabian. In 2007, with Boca, we made a tour and played against MLS teams, and I noticed that here is very physical, very strong.” And, yes, he said, he can deal with it.
“He's good. Obviously, he has a lot of tactical awareness: He knows where he should be,” said Chivas defender Jimmy Conrad, who went the full 90 against the Canadians. “Athletically, he might run into problems. You know, he's not the biggest guy, and our league is built on athleticism. He's going to have to really use his brain to find space and to make a difference.”
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