It was a case of “Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue” for Chivas USA as the club opened preseason training today in Carson under the new coaching staff of Robin Fraser and Greg Vanney.
The old was Francisco “Panchito” Mendoza, a Chivas USA original who played more minutes for the club than any other player before heading back to the mothership in 2009.
Now, after playing sparingly in such relative Mexican soccer backwaters as Indios and Tijuana on loan, the hard-working fan favorite is back on trial with Chivas USA.
The new includes CD Guadalajara goalkeeper Sergio Arias, 22, who was in goal when the Mexicans won the Under-17 World Cup in 2005.
Other trialists include Joaqun Beltrn, 33, a veteran of the Mexican first division who was last with Queretaro FC, but is best known for a decade-long stretch with Pumas as well as Mexican goalkeeper Dmitri Gonzalez and Riverside Poly product Norberto Ochoa, 20.
The borrowed would be MLS pool goalkeeper Kevin Guppy of Chino Hills who was with the club last year and is back in camp.
The blue? Out of contract forward Maykel Galindo who was not invited to camp (and said on Facebook yesterday that he needed a little love, so now we know why).
The Cuban defector was the team’s leading scorer in 2007 with a dozen goals, but a succession of injuries has derailed his career and if memory serves he was loaned out last year to USL team Miami FC.
Also out: midfielder Rodolfo Espinoza, who was on loan with the club last year and made 15 appearances, and central defender Dario Delgado, whose loan was similarly not renewed.
Striker Alan Gordon was also absent, but he was out sick.
Chivas USA leaves town for a little team-bonding Saturday, heading to the Central California community of Templeton (population 4,687) for nine days of training.
I’ll have more on the massive rebuilding job facing Chivas USA in Tuesday’s column.