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Category: Chivas USA

Chivas USA goes to great heights to unveil jersey

SoccerChivas USA will sport a new look at home this season -- and the team went a long way to unveil it, breaking out their redesigned jerseys Wednesday at 30,000 feet on a flight from Guadalajara to Southern California.

Guadalajara is home to Chivas, one of the most popular Mexican soccer teams, and Los Angeles is home to Chivas USA of Major League Soccer. But in addition to sharing a name, the teams also share a red-and-white uniform top.

So the new look that was rolled out Wednesday bears more similarities than differences with the old design. And while there are subtle differences in the uniform's physical appearance, the biggest change is the high-tech fabric the Adidas jerseys are made from, which is said to improve comfort and performance.

The uniform's debut was clearly one of a kind, though, with players modeling them in the aisle of an airplane.

“The unveiling ... was a unique event in soccer history and in line with the innovative ideas that the red-and-white organization constantly develops. And when you start off on the right foot, all finishes well,” said Rodrigo Morales, the team's vice president of marketing and sponsorship.

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Photo: Chivas USA's Juan Pablo Angel shows off the team's new uniform on a team flight Wednesday. Credit: Chivas USA

Chivas USA signs two on second day of camp

Chivasusa_2008_logoA day after opening their preseason training camp, Chivas USA announced that its roster has grown by two, with the addition of Colombian defender John Alexander Valencia and Salvadoran midfielder Marvin Iraheta.

Iraheta, 19, a product of the Cosmos West youth academy, was already in camp with Chivas, while Valencia, 30, is expected to join the team in Oxnard once his immigration paperwork is completed.

Terms of the contracts were not immediately available.

“John is a player we have been scouting for some time now,” Chivas USA General Manager Jose Domene said of Valencia. “He is a great defender that ... will help reinforce our backline.” 

Originally from Medellin, Valencia has played for Corporacion Popular Deportiva Junior (Atletico Junior) in Colombia since fall 2007, appearing in 114 games. Before that he played two years for Independiente Medellin.   

Iraheta, from Departamento Cabañas in El Salvador, moved to Pasadena as a teenager. He was named the Player of the Year for the 2009-2010 season at the U.S. Developmental Academy.

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Galaxy, Chivas USA set to open training camps

Beckham1Newly re-signed midfielder David Beckham is expected to join 15 Galaxy teammates for physical and other testing Saturday before leading Major League Soccer's defending champions in their first workouts of  preseason training camp Monday at the Home Depot Center.

Beckham, who announced Thursday he had reached agreement on a two-year, $15-million deal with the Galaxy, will be attending the start of training camp for the first time in his six years with the team.

Coach Bruce Arena said the team will spend the first week of camp concentrating on fitness training before taking the field on Jan. 30.

Chivas USA, which shares the Home Depot Center with the Galaxy, will open its training camp Monday in Oxnard.

However both teams will be without several key players for most of the training period. Among those missing from the Galaxy camp are Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane, A.J.De La Garza, Brian Perk and Michael Stephens, who are playing either intentionally with a U.S. national team or overseas on loan.

Among the players on the Chivas roster likely to miss the start of training are defender Heath Pearce, who is with the U.S. national team, Jorge Villafana, who has been playing with the U.S. U-23 team, as well as midfielders Miller Bolanos and Oswaldo Minda and defender David Junior Lopes, who are waiting for immigration documents. Bolandos and Minda are from Ecuador; Lopes is Brazilian.

Chivas USA is scheduled to scrimmage the Ventura Fusion on Jan. 27.

The MLS season opens in March.

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Photo: Galaxy midfielder David Beckham looks on during a news conference at Staples Center on Thursday announcing his re-signing with the team. Credit: Joe Klamar / AFP/Getty Images

Four UCLA players taken in MLS supplemental draft

Three UCLA players were among the first 18 selections in Major League Soccer's four-round supplemental draft Tuesday with midfielder Andy Rose going to Real Salt Lake with the sixth pick, defender Shawn Singh going to Sporting Kansas City at No. 16 and midfielder Eder Arreola going two picks later to Houston.

UCLA goalkeeper Brian Rowe was one of five players drafted by Chivas USA, with the fifth selection of the second round. The Bruins, who reached the Final Four of last year's NCAA tournament, had two players chosen in last week's MLS SuperDraft.

Chivas USA also picked Cal State Fullerton defender Kevin Venegas in the second round, one pick ahead of Cal State Northridge midfielder Rafael Garcia, who went to the Galaxy.

Chivas' other selections were R.J. Allen, a defender from Monmouth; Daniel Steres, a defender from San Diego State; and Fabian Kling, a defender from Fort Lewis College.

In addition to Garcia the Galaxy drafted Bryan Gaul, a forward from Bradley; Brazilian youth international Yuri Gorentzvaig, a forward; San Diego State defender Justin Davies; and University of San Diego forward Stephen Posa.

Other Southland players drafted in the second round included UC Riverside forward Cesar Diaz Pizarro, to San Jose; UC Irvine midfielder Miguel Ibarra to Portland; and UC Santa Barbara defender Tim Pontius, taken by Seattle.

UC Irvine keeper Andrew Fontein was taken by Vancouver in the third round. UC Santa Barbara defender James Kiffe (San Jose), Loyola midfielder Logan McDaniel (Portland) and Loyola defender Tyler Krumpe (San Jose) went in the fourth and final round.

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Galaxy, Chivas both address needs in MLS SuperDraft

Bruce3The Galaxy has already lost a starting midfielder and a star defender this off-season. So guess what they went after in Thursday's MLS SuperDraft?

Choosing last in both rounds of the two-round draft, General Manager and Coach Bruce Arena selected Indiana defender Tommy Meyer with his first pick and Louisville midfielder Kenney Walker with his second. And while Arena isn't expecting either player to fill the voids created when midfielder Juninho decided to return to his native Brazil and MLS Defender of the Year Omar Gonzalez torn ligaments in his knee, the Galaxy are hoping Meyer and Walker will give the roster additional depth.

A four-year starter at Indiana, Meyer was an all-conference selection last season and is the first defender taken by the Galaxy in the opening round of the SuperDraft since 2009 -- when the team choose Gonzalez, who went on to win Rookie of the Year honors.

"He's a player that has a good profile to be a center back in this league," Arena said of Meyer. "He has physical size, he's a good header of the ball, a good defender and a decent passer. Once we get him into our setting we can learn a little bit more and work with him and try to make him better."

Walker, the 38th and final player taken Thursday, is a defensive midfielder who had a career-high five goals in 23 games last season, leading the Cardinals to the NCAA quarterfinals.

"He had a very good combine," Arena said. "He is ... an aggressive type of player and a good passer."

Continue reading »

Chivas USA spends to get Arturo Alvarez

Chivas_200Chivas USA continued in a rebuilding mode Monday, selecting midfielder Arturo Alvarez in the stage 1 draft of Major League Soccer's 2011 re-entry process.

Under MLS rules, selecting teams must honor the existing contracts of stage 1 players or, if the player is unsigned, offer them a 5% raise. Alvarez made $202,000 last season, which would appear to make him expensive for a franchise not known for its free spending. Alvarez was one of five Real Salt Lake players whose contracts or contract options were declined, which left them exposed to the re-entry draft.

Alvarez, a 26-year-old Houston native of Salvadoran heritage, played 16 games last season. He's played 179 games in his nine-year MLS career.

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Chivas loses Zarek Valentin to Montreal in expansion draft

Zarek

The Galaxy, Major League Soccer's newly crowned champion, escaped Wednesday's expansion draft unscathed but Chivas USA wasn't so lucky, losing defender Zarek Valentin to the Montreal Impact.

Valentin was the second player selected behind Houston Dynamo forward and team captain Brian Ching.

Ten players were selected in the draft from a pool of 272 players. Each team was allowed to protect 11 players from its 2011 roster.

Later in the day Chivas replaced Valentin by sending forward Justin Braun and defensive midfielder Gerson Mayen to Montreal for former Seattle defender James Riley, the Impact's ninth selection in the draft. Mayen, who played high school soccer at Manuel Arts, was on loan to the Fort Lauderdale Strikers last season and hasn't played in MLS since 2010. He has also played for the Salvadoran national team.

The Impact, the 19th MLS club, will begin play next spring.

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Photo: Zarek Valentin. Credit: Gus Ruelas / Associated Press.

Chivas USA postscript: the point earned was better than the performance

Dan-kennedy_275 Two games in a row without a loss has to be counted as a positive, even if Chivas USA did not look exactly scintillating in its 0-0 tie with the Columbus Crew over the weekend.

Truth be told, the Crew looked pretty pedestrian itself and, as Chivas goalkeeper Dan Kennedy pointed out afterward, the visitors came in looking for a tie and got one.

"Columbus just tried to kill the game," Kennedy said. "They wanted to make it slow and they wanted us to play long balls into their backs and then they killed the game off that way.

"We did our best to move the ball with speed, and maybe we could have done a little better with that, but at the end of the day we got a shutout and at least we took a point out of that."

Chivas is slowly coming together as a team and, once injured players such as Simon Elliott and Paulo Nagamura return and the players become more familiar with each other, the results should improve. That would be especially true if the team adds the goal-hungry forward it is said to be seeking.

The name being mentioned at the moment is that of 18-year-old English forward Jason Banton, but Chivas Coach Robin Fraser has been guarded about whether the teenager, who has spent time with Blackburn Rovers and Liverpool, is really in his thinking.

Banton scored a goal on Sunday for the Chivas reserve team in a scrimmage in Carson.

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Photo: Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy argues a referee's call during Saturday's game against D.C. United. Credit: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Chivas USA Postscript: Lack of fire and firepower haunts team as it takes to the road

Chivas_240 No fire in the belly and no firepower up front.

Those, apparently, are the reasons behind Chivas USA's 0-2 start to the Major League Soccer season.

"Through our lack of aggression, we didn't take advantage of the space that we were given and, had we done that, if we had that urgency, then we could have gotten the ball to the forwards in better spots," Chivas Coach Robin Fraser said in the wake of a 1-0 loss to the defending MLS champion Colorado Rapids over the weekend.

"For whatever reason, we were just too passive."

Having lost its first two home games of the season, Chivas now takes to the road for two games. It plays the expansion Portland Timbers on Tuesday night in a U.S. Open Cup match and then heads directly to Canada to play Toronto FC on Saturday.

Neither game figures to be any easier than the first two, but they should provide an indication of Chivas USA's mettle.

"This is where you really find out about a team," Fraser said. "When you win, everything is rosy. It's when you lose that you find out what you're made of. Do you come back and battle or do you point fingers and not accept responsibility?

"I think that we're at an important point for this team and, based on these last two performances, we need to see what our response will be on Tuesday."

Continue reading »

Chivas USA postscript: Coach Robin Fraser loses the opener but gains a team

Chivas-conrad_300 Chivas USA Coach Robin Fraser has had a couple of days to reflect on Saturday night's 3-2 season-opening loss to Sporting Kansas City at Home Depot Center and, being a wise soul, Fraser will have realized that the glass is half full not half empty.

Yes, Chivas USA gave up a goal in the first two minutes of the season. Yes, it yielded a second goal at the very end of the first half to trail, 2-0.

But if it lost the first half, Chivas USA definitely won the second, scoring two goals while allowing only one. At times it had Sporting pinned back in its own half and worried.

"I thought it was difficult for them to handle us as we came forward in waves," Fraser said. "I would like to have seen us have a little bit more of a killer instinct in the final third, but I think that's coming as well."

The comeback was impressive, even if the cohesion on a Chivas team that has only been together a few weeks was lacking.

The fact that the players showed a willingness to fight back bodes well for the future and for their belief in their coach.

Continue reading »

Jesus Padilla goal gives Chivas USA a 1-0 exhibition win over the Vancouver Whitecaps

Chivas-uniforms

An 89th-minute goal by forward Jesus Padilla earned Chivas USA a 1-0 victory over the expansion Vancouver Whitecaps on Friday in a Major League Soccer exhibition game played at Casa Grande, Ariz.

Both teams are working in the preseason to get their defense sorted out, so offensive chances were few and far between in the match.

Padilla's goal came when he collected a long downfield pass from defender Michael Umana, beat the Whitecaps' offside trap and slotted the ball past Vancouver goalkeeper Jay Nolly.

Chivas USA might have taken the lead earlier in the game, but Mariano Trujillo fired a penalty kick wide of the net after a foul on Alan Gordon.

The game evened Chivas USA's preseason record against fellow MLS teams at 2-2 ahead of next Friday's scrimmage against D.C. United in Carson. Chivas USA opens the season on March 19 at home against Sporting Kansas City.

Earlier in the week, the team unveiled its new jersey for the 2011 season, during which the Mexican brewery Corona will have its name prominently displayed on the front of the traditional red-and-white vertical-striped Chivas jersey.

-- Grahame L. Jones

Photo: Chivas players model the team's new uniform at a ceremony in Los Angeles on Wednesday. Credit: Chivas USA

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