Hello Chivas USA fans! We're into the second week of preseason training for the Goats, and the crew has moved up to Oxnard (article by Gabe Dahl on club website) for several days to train, capped off by a match against the Ventura County Fusion of the USL-PDL on Friday morning. As a local PDL squad close to LA, a great deal of MLS players and 2012 draftees have played for the Fusion, and it will be the first preseason game action for the Goats as a squad in 2012.
If you are interested in seeing the current preseason game schedule, take a look at this list on the club website. I'm planning on going to the match against Club Tijuana in San Diego February 22 - any preseason action that you'll check out?
The biggest news today is that the club has announced the signing of defender John Alexander Valencia. The Colombian has been rumored to sign with the Goats for about a month, and Scott French at ESPN had previously reported the signing. But today, the club made it official, so it is indeed a done deal. He's a big guy, listed at 6'4", so he should help provide size on the backline, and I'm expecting him to slot into the starting lineup immediately if preseason training goes well. Welcome John to Chivas USA!
By the way, it's long been known that Salvadorean midfielder Marvin Iraheta also signed with Chivas, but the club also officially announced the signing in the same article as the announcement for Valencia. We all know how the club works - they are usually the last to confirm news. Welcome to Marvin as well!
We've been trying to keep you updated on Chivas players who are involved in international level, but on the club website Gabe Dahl has a roundup of the guys currently involved in their respective national teams: Heath Pearce (United States), Alejandro Moreno (Venezuela) and Jorge Villafana (U.S. U23). Villafana played 90 minutes in a recent scrimmage against Saprissa's reserves in Costa Rica that ended in a scoreless draw. I suppose a clean sheet could help his case in making the team for the Olympic Qualifying tournament. Pearce and Moreno will likely be involved in friendlies Wednesday, and we'll keep you posted on how much they play and how they perform.
Finally, I don't know how much you follow the Mexican Primera, but there's been a lot of recent turmoil over at Chivas de Guadalajara. They lost their first three matches to open the Clausura tournament, the first time that's happened in quite a while, and coach Fernando Quirarte resigned Saturday following a 2-0 loss to Club Tijuana at home. If you're a Chivas de Guadalajara fan, this is a big story for all the wrong reasons, while if you follow a different club in FMF, you may be feeling some glee at the turn of events. But the reason I think this is notable to Chivas USA fans is in relation to the comments by owner Jorge Vergara (who of course owns both Chivas clubs). Here's what he said, as quoted in an article on Goal.com by Nicholas Rosano:
"What Quirarte did with Chivas is as if we gave him a Ferrari and he turned it into a Volkswagen," Vergara told the radio show Raza Deportiva. "Chivas plays like a headless chicken. "Güero [former manager Jose Luis Real] left the team so that the person who arrived could have continuity, but it was given to someone who was not prepared."
While Chivas USA fans have legitimate gripes about Vergara's absentee ownership of the club, he seems to get a bit carried away with the Mexican club. While more money would be appreciated for the American Goats, I don't think we want to see him lashing out at Robin Fraser (who admittedly, is doing decently in an ongoing rebuilding project, and isn't currently expected to compete for a championship like the Jaliscans.).
What do you think? Leave a comment below!