Chivas USA Goalkeeper Guzan Denied U.K. Work Permit & More

U.S. international Brad Guzan is a world-class goalkeeper, but British bureaucrats pulled the plug today on his imminent $4 million move to Aston Villa.

From the (edited) Chivas USA press release:

Club Deportivo Chivas USA of Major League Soccer today announced that 2007 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year and Chivas USA Original Brad Guzan will return to the club for the 2008 season. The announcement comes following the denial of Guzans British work permit application this afternoon, London time. The 23-year-old U.S. international had been set to join storied English Premier League club Aston Villa in a record transfer for an MLS goalkeeper.

It has been my privilege to represent the Chivas colors for the past three years and I look forward to returning to Chivas USA this season, said Guzan in a statement from England. I have always appreciated the support of Chivas USA and its passionate fans and shall continue wear the colors with pride as we strive for great things in MLS and beyond in 2008.

Brad is a world-class goalkeeper who has attracted the interest of some of the worlds best clubs, and Chivas USA is happy to have him back for another season. Although we share in his disappointment at the denial of his British work permit, we know that Brad, like the true professional he is, will continue to work hard to improve every day on and off the field with Chivas USA, said Chivas USA Head Coach Preki Radosavljevic.

Major League Soccers reigning Goalkeeper of the Year, Brad Guzan was selected by Chivas USA with its first pick in the 2005 MLS SuperDraft (No. 2 overall) out of the University of South Carolina, prior to the clubs first season as an expansion team in Major League Soccer, making the then-20-year-old the highest-picked goalkeeper in MLS draft history. After playing 24 games for Chivas USA in his rookie season and earning the distinction of 2005 Chivas USA Defender of the Year, the fan favorite known as El Guzano would go on to make his first of five appearances to date for the U.S. National Team in 2006. In 2007, Guzan recorded 13 clean sheets for a Chivas USA side that finished first in MLSs Western Conference.

Wonder if Jurgen Klinsmann, now with Bayern Munich, is monitoring developments?

In other Chivas USA-related news, the club announced today the 2,000 spots for tryouts with the team via a Spanish-language reality show have been filled. Applicants came from 39 different states and 17 foreign countries.

Meanwhile, Mexico Coach Hugo Sanchez today announced the roster for the Feb. 6 game against the U.S. in Houston. The full roster:

Goalkeepers Guillermo Ochoa (Club Amrica), Lus Ernesto Michel (CD Guadalajara), Moiss Muoz (Morelia); defenders Rafael Mrquez (FC Barcelona / SPA), Carlos Salcido (PSV Eindhoven / HOL), Johnny Magalln (CD Guadalajara), Fausto Pinto (Pachuca), Israel Castro (Pumas UNAM), Oscar Rojas (Amrica); midfielders Pavel Pardo (VFB Stuttgart / GER), Gerardo Torrado (Cruz Azul), Francisco Arce (Santos Laguna), Andrs Guardado (Deportivo la Coruna / SPA), Antonio Naelson (Toluca); forwards Giovani Dos Santos (FC Barcelona / SPA), Carlos Vela (Osasuna), Juan Carlos Cacho (Pachuca), Adolfo Bautista (Jaguares de Chiapas), Antonio de Nigris (Ankaraspor / TUR).

ESPN confirmed today that outspoken analyst Eric Wynalda was punted from the commentary booth in favor of the presumably less controversial John Harkes. It’s another defeat for those who love color and strong opinions and a victory for those who value the bland and safe. Wynalda, of course, has been on the outs with the network ever since he publicly criticized well-known soccer-hater (and loud mouth) Jim Rome a few months back.

At least soccer fans got rid of Dave O’Brien, though.

From the (edited) ESPN press release:

ESPN and ABC will kick off its 13th straight season of Major League Soccer coverage with a new line-up of in-booth commentators veteran soccer television announcer JP Dellacamera and former U.S. Mens National Team captain John Harkes for MLS Primetime Thursday and U.S. Soccer telecasts including, the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches.

Dellacamera and Harkes will lead ESPNs new on-air crew for U.S. domestic soccer telecasts with sideline reporter Allen Hopkins returning for the second year on select MLS and U.S. Soccer telecasts. Rob Stone, who has been involved with soccer at ESPN since 1997, will continue his role as on-site studio host and play-by-play commentator for select MLS matches, with former U.S. Womens National Team captain and soccer Hall of Famer Julie Foudy as studio analyst.

JP and John will enhance our overall soccer presentation and offer consistency throughout our second season of MLS Primetime Thursday and in our coverage of the U.S. Mens National Team, including upcoming qualifying matches for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, said Tim Scanlan, ESPN vice president for remote productions.

Dellacamera, who has called ten straight FIFA World Cups (six mens and four womens), will take over the play-by-play duties previously held by Dave OBrien, who will focus on his prominent role with ESPNs Major League Baseball and NCAA Mens Basketball telecasts (OBrien also handles radio play-by-play for Boston Red Sox games). Harkes, who paired with Dellacamera to call 2006 FIFA World Cup matches from Germany, will occupy the lead booth analyst role previously held by Eric Wynalda, who has been reassigned to ESPN in-studio soccer duties.

ESPNs new commentator team will debut at 6 p.m. Wednesday during the networks live telecast of the U.S. Mens National Team vs. Mexico match from Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas.

Finally, prep coverage from the Daily Breeze is here

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About Nick Green

South Bay-based Los Angeles News Group soccer columnist and blogger Nick Green writes at the 100 Percent Soccer blog at and craft beer at the Beer Goggles blog at Cheers!