The MLS summer transfer window closes August 8, meaning there's a week for the Goats to make additional moves. They have already been one of the most active teams in the league to this point, dropping Miller Bolanos, Walter Vilchez, Laurent Courtois (who was subsequently signed by the LA Galaxy), Joaquin Velazquez and Giovani Casillas, and signing Carlos Bocanegra, Erick Torres, and Jaime Frias.
Considering what Chivas has typically done during this time in seasons past (i.e. one or two moves) they could very well stand pat. But I have a feeling there could be more moves yet. While the team can technically cut players whenever they like, potential transfers have to be made with the buying country's transfer window dates in mind as well. That goes for any players already under contract that Chivas USA would buy as well.
With that in mind, here are some big questions still lurking with the final week of the transfer window ahead:
1. Will Oswaldo Minda still be with Chivas USA beyond the next week?
Rumors emerged out of Ecuador that like his compatriot Bolaños, Minda could be on his way back home during this transfer window. At one point, two clubs in Ecuador were said to be interested in him, although the rumors appear to have died down publicly of late. That could be because the interest has waned, or because they're hammering out a deal and don't want it to blow up before it's done.
It has to be said that the situation regarding Minda has been perplexing at best this season. Minda essentially claimed he was not really wanted by Chivas USA during the preseason, evidently having to renegotiate his deal, then he claimed he hadn't been paid properly by the team for several months, which seemingly died down. He has been hurt much of this season, and following his last injury layoff, he made it clear that the fact he was not allowed to train with the club during much of the preseason has affected his fitness and made him more injury-prone (whether that can be proven or not is unclear). At one point, Minda did publicly say he was healthy enough to play, while the team waited longer to bring him back into the lineup. He's been dealing with another injury, but while he's been listed on the injury report as "questionable" lately, he did play in Chivas' reserve league match last week before not playing once again in the league match against Seattle.
To be fair to the team, it is still unclear if Minda doesn't know his limits regarding his body and the team is keeping him out to prevent further damage, or if the coaching staffs this season just don't care for him as a player. Considering the value he adds to the team, and the fact that he's the only player on the roster who can competently play the style he plays as a defensive midfielder, it's a shame Minda hasn't featured more for Chivas USA in 2013. If he leaves the team for good, it would further deplete this team's talent level, and that's not something they can really afford to do right now.
2. Will any other players depart?
There's been plenty of turnover this year, before, during, and I'm sure after the season. I thought Vilchez's departure was out of left field, so I think there's a chance that any number of players could also get cut/leave by mutual decision. No inside information here, but cutting the fat has been a real mainstay of the management this season, to the point that there's really no fat left and we're getting pretty damn close to the proverbial bone. But still, if other players are out, I wouldn't really be shocked.
3. What's going on with David Izazola?
He's been training with the club for over a month, and continues to stay with the team, playing in their last reserve match. But there's been no deal announced for the Mexican striker. I really don't know much about his game, and don't know if he'd add a great deal to the Goats or not, but is this an extended trial or is the team stalling on the contract? It would seem kind of cruel to keep a guy around for well over a month then cut him loose at the last minute, but I don't know. We'll have to see if he joins the club officially or if he's just on an extended vacation in the states.
4. Any chance Jonathan Bornstein comes back?
We know the rumor has been going around that Jonny B could be on his way back to MLS, and with Chivas USA holding his rights in the league, they have exclusive dibs on him, that can be used to either sign him or get something from another team that wants him. He played for Tigres last week in the Copa MX, although it was only off the bench and Tigres coach Tuca Ferretti literally doesn't care about secondary tournaments, meaning this will likely not lead to some magical turn of fortune whereby Bornstein suddenly starts playing all the time in Mexico.
Still, Bornstein has hung on at Tigres far longer than most players would seemingly choose to, and the fact that Chivas hold his MLS could be holding back a move. I'll be honest, I have no idea about the terms on which he left Chivas a few years back, whether the current management really wants him back, and whether he wants to come back to his first team. I'm just raising the possibility that maybe Bornstein might not actually want to return to the Goats. I guess we wouldn't really know until he comes back to the league. While Chivas are dying for a left back and Bornstein desperately needs playing time of any sort, this transfer makes so much sense, but whether it will actually happen is a different story entirely.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!