With the confirmation today that Jose Luis Sanchez Sola is Chivas USA's new coach, attention can now turn to players who may join the Goats for the 2013 season. Let me stress that these are in the rumor stage at this point, but boy, are there some whoppers among them:
- Adolfo Bautista: Yes, it is another year, which means another rumor that Bofo is coming to Chivas USA. He was on a radio program in Guadalajara yesterday, where he discussed the possibility of coming to California, and Mediotiempo.com has some of the quotes here (Spanish). Bofo is 33, has been out of the game since the middle of 2012, when his stint with Queretaro came to an end. A cult hero in Mexico, Bofo was a Mexican National Team player and played in the 2010 World Cup. He also played his entire career in Mexico, for a variety of teams (Estudiantes Tecos, Morelia, Pachuca, Chivas, Jaguares, Queretaro) between 1998 and earlier this year.
- Miguel Sabah: Also 33, Sabah does have the benefit of not retiring and continuing to play at a high level. The striker has been linked with a possible move to Chivas USA, along with several other clubs, in Mexico and abroad, according to his agent (of course). The story was picked up by the Spanish wing of MLSsoccer.com yesterday, so perhaps there might be something to it, although today's article, also on the Spanish version of MLSsoccer.com, claims he wants to go to Chivas de Guadalajara. Sabah started his career with Chivas de Guadalajara in 2000, before moving to Cruz Azul and Morelia, where he's been since 2009. Unlike most players in Mexico, his habit of staying at a club for a long spell is unusual. Also, he still scores at a high rate, and he also has gotten call-ups to the Mexican National Team in recent years.
- Edgar Mejia: A defensive midfielder who is under contract to Chivas de Guadalajara, Mejia is 24, meaning he should be still approaching his prime. He did lose out in the battle for playing time, mostly to Patricio Araujo, and has been on loan to Club Leon. Although Leon had a great season, their first in Liga MX, Mejia never made an appearance, which certainly isn't a good indication for his potential. In a radio interview with a Guadalajara-based program yesterday, Chelís mentioned Mejia as one of his targets for Chivas USA.
- Mario de Luna: The new manager also included de Luna, 24, as one of his targets. Also a member of Chivas de Guadalajara, he is a defender who has seen inconsistent playing time so far in his career, making seven league appearances in the 2012 Apertura and one CONCACAF Champions League appearance. this fall. The only club he's ever played for is Chivas.
- Christian Perez: Another young defender owned by Chivas de Guadalajara, Perez was another played mentioned by Chelís. He is 22, started his career with Chivas, went on loan to Queretaro, and returned to Chivas for this past season, when he made five appearances in the league and another in the Champions League. Perez is yet another player who was mentioned by Sanchez in the radio interview.
- Antonio Rodriguez: A 20 year old goalkeeper, Rodriguez is expected to be one for the future. An integral member of Mexico's U20 World Cup squad in 2011, and the back-up to Jesus Corona at the 2012 Olympics (where he won a Gold medal), Rodriguez hasn't seen much playing time at the senior level, making no appearances in the league or CCL for Chivas this fall. He is highly touted, but down the line, with the depth of MLS goalkeepers, it is unclear if he has what it takes to become an outstanding keeper abroad.
- Giovani Casillas: He is perhaps the most intriguing player being mentioned, specifically by Chelís (again in the radio interview in Guadalajara). He is very young, at just 18, and he was part of Mexico's U17 World Cup-winning squad last year. He is a product of Chivas de Guadalajara, and plays as an attacking midfielder. He did not make any appearances for Chivas this past season, so it could be that he's not up to the pro game yet, that he hasn't been given a chance, or that he's just not that good. You have to take it with a grain of salt, but he did score against Barcelona in a friendly last year.