I've been told this is Morales. I'm still unsure. - USA TODAY Sports
Chivas USA have rounded out their roster, at least for the time being, with a final trio of trialists.
During Friday's media day extravaganza, Chivas USA slipped in another detail that went largely unnoticed: the club has added three additional players to the roster, bringing the total to 27 ahead of the roster compliance deadline and the first match of the season. Defender Daniel Antunez and forwards Jose Manuel Rivera and Julio Morales are officially members of the club. However, since nothing was released by the club surrounding the moves except that they are on the roster, it is unclear if any or all of them have been signed outright or are on loan. If I had to guess, Antunez is a signing and Rivera and Morales are loans from Chivas de Guadalajara, but again, that's just a guess.
Antunez, 27, is a local product who last played for Finnish club Inter Turku. A defender, Antunez also spent some of 2011 with Estudiantes Tecos. I couldn't tell whether his time with the club overlapped with current Chivas USA coach Jose Luis Sanchez Sola, but it seems like a pretty solid bet. This is Antunez's first stint in MLS.
Rivera, 26, is a Mexican-born player who has bounced back and forth between Mexican teams and rather obscure European clubs. He is evidently under contract at Chivas de Guadalajara, though he's never played a first team match for them as far as I could tell. Although he has played for a lot of teams, he hasn't stuck at really any of them, and this has to be considered a significant opportunity for him to establish himself. And although he has no MLS experience, he will be the oldest forward on the roster, by a significant margin.
Morales continues to be a mystery to me. I have tried to find information on him, and hit dead ends. I don't know if he is the same person as former Chivas USA Academy player Leopoldo Morales or somebody different, and the club has not added any of the newest players to their roster page just yet. The team originally noted when he arrived that he was coming from Guadalajara, and he joined preseason camp later than anybody, but he evidently did enough to warrant a shot with the Goats de la Norte.
Ante Jazic continues to be on the official roster, but he was not included in the list of players released by the club during the media day hubbub. He is the only question mark heading into the season, but the signs look pretty clear that he's not going to be a part of Chivas USA in 2013.
Despite that, we must take a moment to welcome the newest newcomers. Welcome Daniel, Jose Manuel, and Julio!
What do you think? Leave a comment below!