In perhaps a sign of just how precarious Chivas USA’s injury situation has become veteran Mexican international defender Claudio Suarez who retired earlier this month in a snit about the club’s latest contract offer has, um, unretired.
“Claudio Surez is a living legend of international soccer and his leadership is key to the success of our club,” said Chivas USA President and CEO Shawn Hunter. “Throughout his decision-making process, we have maintained an active dialogue with Claudio. We are happy today to announce that he will be back with Chivas USA for the 2009 season.”
This is all very different than just a few weeks ago when Suarez complained about the club’s “ridiculous” contract offer and the parties had an apparently acrimonious parting of the ways; at the time Chivas USA only gave a cursory acknowledgment to the retirement of the man it today called “the greatest central defender in the history of Mexican football.”
Suarez later reportedly said: “
My economic demands were not grand but they had to respect the fact that I was the image of the club because this club began with the idea of having a roster with a Mexican base and everything has changed. More and more important players are leaving and they are misleading fans with this project.
“I know they have to take care of their money, but to be honest they disrespected me with what they offered.
“In fact, my priority was always to stay in the United States for family reasons. Now, this chapter with Chivas USA is closed. I won’t re-consider anything. I’d rather play with an amateur club.”
Well, apparently he reconsidered. And so did Chivas USA.
Suarez may have lost a step, but he remains adept at reading the game and his experience will be invaluable to steady an injury-ridden ship before the season begins Saturday against the Colorado Rapids.
Suarez will address the media at half time of Saturday’s game and be formally added to the roster next week. Given that he missed all of preseason with the contract dispute it will be interesting to see how quickly the 40-year-old can get up to speed.
But at least the dignified Suarez hasn’t performed the soccer equivalent of scuttling out the MLS back door after such a long career
BTW, in related news trialists Diego Scotti and Erik Hummel left camp.
Recent signings Eduardo Lillingston and Mariano Trujillo received their International Transfer Certificates today and are cleared to play Saturday against the Rapids; as a result long-term injury victims Bobby Burling and Lawson Vaughn were moved to the team’s disabled list, making the players ineligible for MLS action for the next six games.