Weekly Column: Pasadena Pete returns to SoCal with Chivas USA

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Robin and his merry men: Chivas USA Coach and former Galaxy defender Robin Fraser has turned to a familiar face to provide stability in midfield for the Goats (Photos by Staff Photographer Steve McCrank).

When former Galaxy midfielder and captain Pete Vagenas contemplated an offer from Chivas USA, it’s fair to say he thought long and hard about the decision given his history with the first MLS team in the market:

“I’m honored to be here playing for Robin and Greg Vanney and I’m honored to be playing for Chivas,” he said. “I understand the issues from my past. I wasn’t insesnsitive to that when this decision was being made. I wanted to make sure I was making it for the right decisions and at the end of the day I want to be here and I want to play for these guys and I can’t wait to get started.

“Robin was Obama before Obama to me, in the sense of I had so much respect for him,” Vagenas added. “Not only was he a great player he was a great leader and he put the team first and sometimes that led to confrontations with our coach. But he said what needed to be said and I remember thinking specificallty as a young kid if I ever had the opportunity to be a leader I want to do it in that similar way.”

Incidentally, Vagenas laughed when I asked him about his old “Pass Back Pete” nickname – and he made no apologies for it:

“It’s a very possession oriented game and we have to establish that rhythm, but at the same time like Robin said this morning in the preseason we’re trying to maybe play a bit too much. That leads to costly turnovers and before you know it you’re down one nothing. Nobody want to play a prettier game thah I do, but at the end of the day you’ve sometimes got to play ugly because you’re trying to win games.”

And somehow you’ve got to think that with the presence of Vagenas in midfield, Chivas USA stands a better chance of exceeding their win total over last season.

For more, here’s today’s column.

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Pete’s Prayer: Former Galaxy midfielder Pete Vagenas wanted to finished his career in Southern California where he grew up; this year his wish came true when Chivas USA came calling.

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About Nick Green

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