Chivas USA made it official on Tuesday, announcing they have indeed acquired midfielder Nathan Sturgis from the Colorado Rapids, in exchange for midfielder Carlos Alvarez. Sturgis will be available for CUSA's next game, Wednesday against the San Jose Earthquakes in the Bay Area.
Sturgis, 26, will break the MLS record for most teams played for in a career with seven when he hits the field with the Goats for the first time. Prior to his stint with the Rapids, where he had something of a breakout season in 2013, he played for the Houston Dynamo, Toronto FC, Seattle Sounders, Real Salt Lake, and the LA Galaxy, where he entered the league as a Generation adidas product in 2006 after playing collegiately at Clemson University.
Sturgis scored four goals last season, and has five altogether in his career. He's known as much more of a defensive-minded midfielder, but really, he's been more like a squad player who hasn't seen much action at most of his stops along the way.
The link between Sturgis and current Chivas USA coach Wilmer Cabrera is that Cabrera was his assistant coach last year in Colorado. This is the latest example of Cabrera getting a player he has worked with in the past, joining Martin Rivero (also from the Rapids), Ryan Finley, Matt Dunn, and Eriq Zavaleta (U.S. U-17 National Team).
On first appearances, I'm not a fan of this deal. Alvarez was younger, an East LA local who was a fan favorite, and had been playing a more defensive role so far this season, at Cabrera's apparent insistence. I think the jury was out on what Alvarez's ultimate ceiling will be in MLS, as he could be anywhere from a solid squad player to a potential star, and the upside of Sturgis doesn't look to be any greater, honestly. And if the Goats aren't really competing this season (because they have no shot of making the playoffs this year), why swap out a player with more experience but far less upside?
Hopefully I'm wrong, and hopefully Sturgis comes good with CUSA. But on paper, this looks like a downgrade, and Cabrera may have gotten one of "his" guys, but not actually improved this team in any measurable degree.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!