There's a few more weeks before the 2012 season starts, and Chivas USA are still trying to figure out how to build their roster to start the season. Today, word emerged from Scott French at ESPN about three new trialists in camp, who were previously secret as the team needed to file a discovery claim on two of them lest any other MLS teams try to compete for their services.
The player who did not need a discovery claim, and who is perhaps the best known of the three to MLS fans, is forward Karo Okiomah, a Texas native who played collegiate soccer at High Point University (in North Carolina) and was drafted in the first round of the 2012 Supplemental Draft by the Houston Dynamo. In the article today from French, Robin Fraser said he's "available" but I don't know if Houston formally released Okiomah or not. If they haven't released him, and if Chivas want to sign him ultimately, the Dynamo will be owed compensation. Still, we'll have to see if he does indeed stick with the Goats.The other two trialists come from abroad. Jose Manuel Najera is an attacking midfielder from Colombia, who has spent his entire career with Real Cartagena in Colombia. He's 23, so he's young and potentially has some upside, although I don't know a great deal about him otherwise. Last but not least is Alan da Silva Souza, who is a Brazilian winger/forward. Like many Brazilians, he's bounced around in his career, playing in the Ukraine (Metalurh Donetsk, Stal Alchevsk, Arsenal Kyiv) and Cyprus (AEK Larnaca F.C.). It seems he's barely played in those stints, however, so it seems he figured he'd try his luck on a new continent. It's entirely possible he could have slipped between the cracks, and at 24 he still has several years ahead of him in his career, but he'll need to impress to make the team.
Considering two of these players are internationals, I do wonder what the club's situation is with international slots. I estimated the team only had one more international slot left to fill, but I'm not sure if midfielder Marvin Iraheta's ACL injury means the club has removed him from the active roster and put him as an injury non-roster member of the team for the season. It's also possible that Iraheta has a green card, and therefore is not counted as an international player, or alternately that Ryan Smith and/or Ante Jazic have U.S. residency and therefore the team has more than one available international slot. If both Najera and Souza get signed, then one of the following is true, or the club will have to trade for another international slot. If they are signed, we'll delve into this deeper, and if not, no need to worry about it.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!