CARSON, CA - SEPTEMBER 24: Ben Zemanski #21 of Chivas USA avoids a tackle by Terry Dunfield #23 of Toronto FC during the MLS match at The Home Depot Center on September 24, 2011 in Carson, California. Chivas USA defeated Toronto FC 3-0. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
Got some news for you today concerning Chivas USA. Without further ado...
First, the U.S. Soccer Development Academy has released their evaluations for clubs around the country for 2010-11. Daniel Robertson over at SB Nation blog Big D Soccer has an article out today on the report, which makes sense since FC Dallas got the top rating nationally of 4 stars. Congrats to them! You may be wondering where Chivas USA's academy ranks. As you can see in the list in the article, Chivas are in the middle of the pack at 2.5 stars. Considering the recent efforts to restructure the academy and really develop it into a tool for training professionals, I think this is a good snapshot in time, but the evaluations that come a year or two from now will really prove significant to understanding if the club is headed in the right direction.
If you are interested in reading the specific report on Chivas' academy, you can find it here (opens to a pdf file, then scroll over to the appropriate team). The report lists players on the academy teams, and you may find a name or two that is familiar, and hopefully at least a few names that will become more famous in the next few years. Thanks to Daniel for sending this information along.
More news after the jumpIn other news for possible stars of the future, Chivas reserves lost to their Portland Timbers counterparts at Jeld-Wen field today 5-1. While that sounds like a spanking, it certainly was, but the talent gap was pretty large. With Portland still in the thick of the playoff hunt, they played mostly players who have started on the first team throughout the season, while Chivas played a lineup featuring a few first-teamers (Zarek Valentin, Michael Lahoud, Blair Gavin, Mariano Trujillo, Jorge Flores), but a lot of reserves (Sergio Arias, Bryan de la Fuente, Chris Cortez, Victor Estupinan) and academy players (Esteban Rodriguez, Eric Gonzalez, Marky Delgado, Brian Kennedy, Ben Spencer). Spencer got his first reserve league goal in the match, and it looks like the club used it as an opportunity to give some new and young guys a challenge, and see if any are ready to make the jump up for next year. For more information on the game, read this report on today's match.
An update on playoff odds for the Goats. Despite winning on Saturday, Chicago's victory over New England on Saturday and their games in hand catapulted them ahead of Chivas. This means that Chivas now sit 14th in Sounder at Heart's weekly evaluations, and their odds have dropped slightly to a 2.1% chance that they'll make the playoffs. We all know the drill: Chivas need to win their last three matches, but they also need help from the 5-6 teams ahead of them at the moment. They are not eliminated yet, and a win this weekend against Philadelphia will delay their elimination for another week. Can they fight against the current once more?
Also on the JPA front, an article for the club's website from Gabe Dahl with Angel full of good vibes with Chivas. He truly seems to be feeling more confident since his trade from across the hall, and for the moment, the team is really benefiting from his confidence (and goals, of course).
Here's another article from the Voice of OC following up on the news from last week that the city of Santa Ana could be moving into formal negotiations with the club about relocating permanently. Take a look at the article, but as far as I can see, the gist at the moment is that it is a mess and pretty much nobody in the know is willing to fully discuss the situation. Again, it will probably be a long time before the relocation actually proceeds.
Finally, a couple articles from Adam Serrano. One is a feature on Andrew Boyens, who had a strong game Saturday after a long stretch out of the lineup on the league's website. And check out his round-up featuring Justin Braun, Angel, and Heath Pearce from yesterday. Check them out!
What do you think? Leave a comment below!