No doubt about it, Chivas USA have been very busy so far this offseason. There is still more than two months before the 2012 MLS season begins, and there will likely be more moves to come. Rumors have been flying about several players departing, and there have been additions and re-signings. Let's take stock of what we know, what we've heard, and what is up in the air. With that, I'm going to attempt to identify who is on the first team roster, and who is not or may not be.
Weigh in with your opinions and any info you might have heard below in the comments. Let's see what the lay of the land is at the start of 2012:
Should be back, but played little to no time in 2011, so status may be uncertain
Bryan de la Fuente
Rumored/Reported to be gone - front office has not confirmed publicly
Out of contract, probably won't be back
100% gone from Chivas
Tristan Bowen (technically on loan, but I doubt he will return to Chivas)
As you see in the first category, Chivas only have 14 players who seem pretty clearly on the current roster. The team's official website lists 20 players, including Cortez and de la Fuente and the four players rumored and/or reported to have left, so any of those players could move into the top group. As for JPA and Guppy, I would guess both players will sign with Chivas in 2012, if they have not already. Obviously money is the sticking point for Angel, so it could very possibly fall through, but it seems quite possible both sides can make it work. Guppy has bounced back and forth between being a goalkeeper for Chivas, and for a period last season, with the Portland Timbers, but he was also an MLS pool goalkeeper in the past. If Thornton and Arias are out, however, Guppy may be an affordable option that has some MLS experience, as limited as it may be.
The league minimum for a first-team roster in 2011 was 18 players. Bear in mind that is a remarkably small squad, however, and the maximum was 30. Regardless, it looks like Chivas still have major work to do, especially if the players who are believed to be leaving will actually leave. The SuperDraft and Supplemental Draft coming up will help the club get new players and prospects, and hopefully these selections can be part of the strategy to build a winning team in 2011.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!