In what is perhaps the best news yet of the preseason, it looks like Chivas USA's goalkeeper situation has been resolved. 20 year old Antonio Rodriguez, one of five players who were sent to Chivas USA by Chivas de Guadalajara, is returning to Mexico, according to a series of tweets he made Saturday morning:
Then some Chivas USA players and trialists sent Rodriguez public messages via twitter:
@lopez_roro un abrazo hermano! Gracias y nos vemos pronto papa! Qe yo necesito revancha jeje un abrazo metele— Antonio Rodriguez (@TonoRodriguez1) February 2, 2013
Even the man who was expected to be shipped to make way for Rodriguez sent him a message:
@1dankennedy u too bro! This one its gonna be your year! See u soon— Antonio Rodriguez (@TonoRodriguez1) February 2, 2013
Although we can't make ironclad assumptions that Dan Kennedy cannot possibly leave Chivas USA in 2013, this is by far the best indication yet that coach Jose Luis Sanchez Sola is serious about making Kennedy the building block of the team. Of course, the cases looked absurd from the start - a 30-year old who was coming off an All-Star selection, finishing as runner-up in league Goalkeeper of the Year voting, and was selected team MVP for the second year running, versus a 20-year old prospect with likely a bright future ahead of him but next to no game experience, and certainly no MLS experience.
What is unclear is whether Rodriguez was never going to stay in California, perhaps only coming down for some training and nothing more, or if Chelís and his staff evaluated the goalkeeping situation and decided they didn't need to make changes, least of all get rid of Kennedy of all people. I have to say, with the rumors that circulated for two solid months, I'd be inclined to believe it was the latter, because I can't expect Chivas were going to trade Kennedy and let Tim Melia or Patrick McLain take over as the starting keeper ahead of Rodriguez. I think both Melia and McLain are solid keepers, but if the team has one of the very best keepers in the league, there's absolutely no reason to get rid of him, and especially within the league at that.
Still, until the next crisis, rumored or real, comes about, this has to make Chivas USA fans feel good. I have nothing against Rodriguez, and I hope he develops into a fine player, but if he was going to succeed Kennedy he would have had an absolutely brutal time. For all parties concerned, it looks like the situation is for the best.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!