After considerable digging, I learned the identity of the final Chivas USA trialist that we are currently aware of in training camp. The unnamed "Trialist GK" in Wednesday's 2-2 scrimmage against the LA Galaxy is Larry Jackson. He played collegiately at Santa Clara University 2009-12, and was named WCC Goalkeeper of the Year his senior season. Prior to that, the Bay Area native attended the IMG academies in Florida.
Jackson participated in the 2013 MLS Combine, but went undrafted in the 2013 SuperDraft and Supplemental Draft. He ended up trialling at the Colorado Rapids last April after Clint Irwin took over for an injured Matt Pickens, but he was ultimately not signed by the club. That trial, however, clearly set up the link between Jackson and new Chivas USA coach Wilmer Cabrera, who was formerly with the Rapids.
Heading into the 2013 Draft, Jackson was ranked the ninth-best 'keeper of the class by Matt Doyle. Apparently, he's on the small side, though one of the league's best, Nick Rimando, is quite small himself.
I couldn't find any information that Jackson was involved with any USL or NASL teams last year.
Update: Ted Prezelski has pointed out that Jackson played with FC Tucson last season, mostly as a backup, though he did start in the friendly against Chivas USA last fall. It turns out that game is evidently paying big dividends for Chivas' 2014 roster. Also, Jonathan Yardley informed me on twitter that he was a backup with the Des Moines Menace, also of the USL PDL, for part of last season. Thanks to both for their information!
From initial appearances, it looks like Jackson and current Chivas USA U-23 goalkeeper Michael Abalos are competing for the third goalkeeper spot on the first team roster. Abalos was also part of the 2013 MLS draft class, and Doyle ranked him the sixth-best 'keeper of the class. Abalos went undrafted as well.
Chivas currently have 21 players on the roster, so there will certainly be more signings in the weeks to come. Trialists will also come and go during the course of the preseason. But we'll see if Jackson, who saw considerable action in Wednesday's scrimmage, will make the cut and sign a deal with the team.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!
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