With the MLS Waiver Draft scheduled for Monday, teams have to begin making personnel decisions, and Chivas USA dispensed with more than a third of their roster, announcing Thursday that they have cut ties with 10 players. Mario de Luna, Edgar Mejia, Julio Morales, and Jaime Frias, all on loan, have been sent back to Chivas de Guadalajara, while the club declined contract options on Patrick McLain, Steve Purdy, Daniel Antunez, Marvin Iraheta, Josue Soto, and Jose Manuel Rivera.
Of the 10, only de Luna and Mejia played regularly throughout the entire season for the Goats, featuring in 30 and 28 MLS games, respectively.
Morales spent a considerable amount of time away from Chivas USA while with the Mexico U-20 team, including at the U-20 World Cup in Turkey. He scored two goals in 17 league appearances in 2013.
Frias joined the club during the summer transfer window, playing in four league matches in defense.
Antunez suffered a torn ACL in April, and so he's getting kind of a raw deal in being cut before he even has a chance to get back into the lineup. He played in just three matches before getting hurt.
Purdy also suffered from injuries and being gone on international duty with El Salvador, only making eight appearances in MLS play all season. His season was also ended prematurely after he required surgery from an elbow to the face during a game. Interestingly, he was voted Chivas USA's Defender of the Year on this website.
Another departed player, Rivera, had his season cut short due to injury, but he seldom featured, making nine appearances in all and just three starts.
Soto played in 18 matches in midfield and defense, and featured fairly regularly during Chelís' time in charge, but fell down Jose Luis Real's pecking order late in the season.
Iraheta and McLain were the veterans of the lot, both having joined Chivas USA in 2012. Iraheta tore his ACL during the 2012 preseason and only made his full pro debut in the 2013 season opener, but like Soto, after featuring frequently under Chelís, he barely featured in Real's lineup, only playing once between July and the end of the season.
McLain entered the year as the Goats' third string goalkeeper, but with Tim Melia sidelined with a major back injury most of the season, he got his chance. McLain played in two MLS matches in 2013, coming off the bench against Sporting Kansas City when Dan Kennedy was red carded, and starting the following match against the Portland Timbers.
We will have further analysis of all of these players' contributions to Chivas USA's 2013 season in our Player Postmortem series. In the meantime, we'll have to see what awaits these players in the future and what Chivas will do next. It is absolutely clear that returning to the original project this year as Jorge Vergara envisioned it failed spectacularly, as Chivas finished last in the West and second-worst in MLS. Most of these players were reserves, so their departures are overall not necessarily surprising. But does this purge demonstrate that Chivas now have a cogent plan with a good chance of success, or are they merely rearranging metaphorical deck chairs? That, of course, remains to be seen.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!
More from The Goat Parade:
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- The Goat Parade's 2013 Chivas USA awards revealed
- Least Valuable: Chivas USA ranks dead last in Forbes' MLS club valuations
- Chivas USA's indiscipline certainly didn't help the cause in 2013
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