Mar 24, 2012; Nashville, TN, USA; Cheer up Jorge! We still believe in you! Mandatory Credit: Don McPeak-US PRESSWIRE
Been a little while since we last did a news roundup here, but there have been a lot of significant stories recently. Let's look at some of the news relating to Chivas USA!
On the league website, Simon Borg named Dan Kennedy and Rauwshan McKenzie to the MLS Team of the Week for Week 3. We've long known Kennedy has been a top goalkeeper around these parts, and the word continues to trickle out around the league, while McKenzie has been the big surprise so far this season with his good play.
Adam Serrano has a story, also on the league website, about McKenzie's sharp play so far this season, and his triumph after beating his former team last week.
On that front, you should do your duty and vote for Kennedy for Week 3 Save of the Week on the league website. Voting is open until midnight today.
Jorge Villafaña is back with the team after playing in the U.S. Men's National Team U23 squad in the CONCACAF Olympica Qualification Tournament. The postmortems on the U23s failure continue to roll in, and the overwhelming tone is of disappointment and anger. Based on the interviews with Villafaña, he seems to be taking it hard. But hopefully he can bounce back and get back into the matchday 18 soon.
Over at ESPN, Scott French has a story on Villafaña's return to the club this week. It's an interesting take, as Peter Vagenas apparently isn't afraid to offer a tongue-lashing about the USMNT's failure. If you read through the article, you'll see that the 2000 Olympic team that Vagenas was a part of and evidently very proud of qualified for the tournament on a very lucky break, so maybe he should temper his comments just a bit. Also, I don't think Sueño needs to be put in his place, since he seems pretty broken up about it, but I guess that's the competitiveness and national pride coming through. Of course, Robin Fraser's comments seemed perceptive and measured about the failure - just as you would expect.
On the league website, Serrano reports today that former Chivas midfielder Simon Elliott has been hired as technical director and head scout. The graybeard, who helped give Chivas considerable on-field leadership during his season with the Goats, is 37, and I assume he didn't get many offers to continue playing after Chivas declined his option. He has considerable experience in MLS and has played abroad, and of course he was a New Zealand international. Hopefully he can help Chivas get better and build a winning tradition.
Following his game-winner last week (hopefully the first of many), Casey Townsend discussed his performance with Serrano, also on the league website. I don't want to overhype somebody who's being called the "white Chicharito" by supporters three games into his career, but so far, so good from the rookie.
Michael Lahoud may be back in the lineup this weekend, if he passes the fitness tests after injuring his hamstring just prior to the start of the season. Both Serrano and French discuss this development in respective articles. Since he hurt his hamstring, I really hope he's fully ready to go, as rushing back can lead to sustained injuries and misery all around. If he needs another week, that's fine. But once he's back, I think big things will be expected of him, as he was terrific as a winger during the preseason, and his role last season as a full back should help him defend, something that has obviously been important so far this season for the Goats.
In his article, Serrano discusses the fundraiser Lahoud will be doing at the match Sunday, along with fellow Sierra Leone-native Kei Kamara, who plays for Sporting Kansas City. If you get a chance to donate or buy tickets with proceeds going to Schools for Salone, please consider it. Lahoud's been working hard on it for the past few years on the project and doing good work. You can find more details about it on the club's website here.
Meanwhile, French's article about Lahoud has a number of significant notes about the team. Let's run them down:
- Not only have Chivas set up a partnership with a Torreon, Mexico-based academy called Sensifut, whose claim to fame is producing Santos Laguna star and Mexican international Oribe Peralta, but the Goats have brought in four trialists from the academy. The players are Gerardo Daniel Torres, a left back, center back Javier Mena, midfielder Victor Manuel Chavez, and forward Jorge Eduardo Marquez. Let's see if this is a training experience for the quartet, or if any catch the eye of the Chivas coaching staff.
- Former Chivas player and recent trialist Rodrigo Lopez is gone, and fellow trialist Patrick Kanyuka has also left the team.
- Former UCLA goalkeeper and Chivas Supplemental Draft pick Brian Rowe has been signed as an MLS pool goalkeeper.
- Perhaps most significantly, relating to the "Future Goats," is that Marky Delgado is evidently close to being signed as a homegrown player. He's played significant minutes with the reserves since last season and trained with the squad through the preseason. Once it goes through, we'll discuss it further.
In the same article, French discusses Juan Pablo Angel and Alejandro Moreno briefly, and Serrano chips in with similar information concerning Angel in the article about Elliott. JPA is apparently out again this week. Again, I think health is more important, and I don't want players to mess around with concussions, but I'm starting to get a little bit concerned about his health. On a happier note, Moreno could be in the lineup, or perhaps at least the matchday 18, Sunday, after breaking his nose twice and having surgery on it. He'll be following in Kobe and CP3's footsteps and be wearing a facial mask to protect his nose, apparently.
Over at Soccer America, Paul Kennedy has a brief profile of Chivas USA Academy player Ben Spencer, who is one of three Academy players to be called up to youth national team camps. Spencer is still mulling his options for the future, but he might be joining Delgado on the Chivas first team at some point.
And Chivas beat local side FC Hasental 5-0 today in a scrimmage. Few details about the scoring have emerged, but I assume we'll hear a bit more about it in the next day or so.
On the team's official website, Olivia Cervantes has a brief interview with Robin Fraser. I though the question about Dan Kennedy was most notable. Cervantes asks about the fact that Kennedy is leading the league in saves, and Fraser sensibly admits that statistic is demonstrating a dangerous reliance on Kennedy. It's a nice stat at the moment, but the goal should be to take some of the pressure off Kennedy on a constant basis.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!