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Chivas USA adds Costa Rican defender

April 6, 2010, 11:13 PM

By: Scott French

Chivas USA's added another Latin player to its roster Tuesday when the team announced it has acquired defender Dario Delgado on loan from Costa Rican club Puntarenas.

Delgado, 24, has made five appearances for Costa Rica's national team, debuting in a friendly against Venezuela last May and appearing twice in last summer's CONCACAF Gold Cup and twice in World Cup qualifying. He has played for Puntarenas since 2007.

Major League Soccer's "primary registration window," through which clubs can sign players under contract to foreign clubs, closes April 15. The "secondary" window is open July 15 to Aug. 14.

Dario Delgado

Brian Kersey/Getty Images

Dario Delgado, who joined Chivas USA on Tuesday, has played for his native Costa Rica five times.

Chivas USA's Mexican roots -- it is affiliated with CD Guadalajara, the original Chivas -- were initially visible through the number of Latin American players, especially Mexicans and Americans of Mexican ancestry, brought onto the roster, in part an attempt to lure Latin American supporters. That policy waned after a disastrous first season, as Bob Bradley and Preki focused on bringing in talented players of any background.

New Chivas USA coach Martin Vasquez, who was born in Mexico and moved to Southern California as a boy, had previously brought in Salvadoran playmaker Osael Romero, Costa Rican defender Michael Umana and Orange-born defender Carlos Borja, who played in Mexico City giant Cruz Azul's youth system and, after signing a developmental contract with Chivas USA, with Guadalajara's second-tier affiliate.

Vasquez was asked before the season began if it was important to bring in Latino players or to win regardless of team makeup.

"I think winning is the only thing that matters," he said. "Whether we have a lot of Hispanics or not, the objective is to continue" to contend for playoff berths and championships, as the club has under Bradley and Preki.

Chivas USA, which didn't provide details on the loan agreement, announced the deal Tuesday, but Puntarenas had it on its website last week. The Costa Rican club said the agreement was through the 2010 MLS season and that Chivas had an option to purchase Delgado's contract.

Vasquez in a statement called Delgado "a young, talented central defender who gives us both depth and options with our back line. We've had our eye on him for a while and we're glad he is finally here." He'll be eligible to play once his work visa and International Transfer Certificate arrive.

To acquire Delgado, Chivas USA had to trade a conditional selection in the 2012 SuperDraft to Real Salt Lake, which had first rights to the defender because he was on a discovery list the MLS champion had filed with the league.

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