Again, we're winding down the MLS season, but the news doesn't stop for Chivas USA. I found some articles about the Goats that you may find useful heading into the last week.
First up, a slew of articles from team beat writer Adam Serrano, all concerning defenders. First, in his weekly column on the league website, he reports on the knee injury to Michael Umana and whether he can recover in time for Saturday's game against the Seattle Sounders. Fraser did not rule him out, but it seemed unlikely that Umana will be available, but one never knows about these things. Serrano also briefly discusses whether midfielder Paulo Nagamura will be returning next year. Based on his injury history, he seems snakebitten to an extent, although he has quality when he is able to play. Stay tuned on that developing story.
More news after the jumpSerrano also has a pair of features on defenders Zarek Valentin and Ante Jazic. For Valentin, apparently last week's match gave him a chance to see what a quality defense looks like in the Galaxy (I'm paraphrasing here). To that, I say, Zarek, keep your eyes on the ball/your man! Just kidding, whatever helps him improve works for me. I think he's had a good season overall, especially for a rookie playing his first season in professional soccer, but there's obviously room for improvement. More on that in the upcoming end of season evaluations of the players.
On Jazic, Serrano writes about the resurgence he found this season with the new coaching staff, training staff, and tactical system. No doubt about it, Jazic has had a quietly strong season and has weathered the slumps better than nearly anybody. I think it's interesting that he credits the team's conditioning for his career year, as good conditioning and medical staff can really be an asset for a professional sports team. Look at the injury woes of English Premier League teams Arsenal and Everton in recent years, or the outstanding medical staff of AC Milan or the Phoenix Suns in the NBA. Good staff can be a secret weapon.
Here's the weekly Chivas youth academy update on the club's website. It was a mixed bag of results for the different age groups, but look at some of the scores! 8-0, 8-1, 10-1. Quite a bit different from the big leagues (at least most of the time). And former Chivas academy player and currently U18 U.S. Men's National Team residency program player Bradford Jamieson played in a tournament in Spain, so good to see him get some playing time on the international level.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!