In news that is surely upsetting for many Chivas USA fans, if nonetheless unsurprising, the club announced on Thursday that they have waived forward Matthew Fondy. The 24-year-old had been with the team since the end of August 2013, when he signed with the club from the then-LA Blues. He made a total of eight competitive appearances for the Goats (one start), all in MLS play, including one substitute appearance this season, in the second game of 2014 against the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Fondy quickly became a fan favorite in 2013, as the team had completely thrown in the towel by that point, and he appeared to be one of the few players who really hustled when he was on the field. Despite not seeing action for months, many CUSA fans appealed to current coach Wilmer Cabrera to give Fondy more of a runout in games, especially given the scoring woes behind star striker Erick Torres. And on some level, it's a great point, since goals have been very hard to come by for this team, so it's not like Fondy dropped down the pecking order because there were so many other consistent scoring options.
But that's the rub -- Fondy never scored in a competitive game for Chivas. Despite the energy and determination, not to mention some close calls, he never scored last year, and 19 minutes this season didn't give him a very big window to grab that first goal. Could he have gotten some goals if given a chance? That's the lingering question.
Again, given Cabrera's obvious disinterest in playing Fondy -- only young Homegrown striker Caleb Calvert has gotten fewer minutes this year among the forward corps -- the news of his departure was only a matter of time.
But for a team in a lame duck year, with an awful record and little fan interest, dumping yet another player that supporters have really gotten behind can be a risky tactic. I don't think in general that a player who won't contribute should be kept around just because fans like him, but there's obvious sentiment that this particular player didn't get a fair shake, and goodwill towards Cabrera may suffer as a result.
Best of luck, Matt, in your career moving forward.
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