Chivas USA shores up its defense with a former Japanese international with World Cup experience (Photo courtesy Chivas USA).
Chivas USA has signed former Japanese international Akira Kaji from J-League Division 1 club Gamba Osaka, the club announced today.
The 34-year-old right back played for his country at the 2006 World Cup.
“Akira is a very experienced player who is going to help us solidify our back four,” said Chivas USA coach Wilmer Cabrera. “He brings World Cup experience along with an impressive career in a league that is very strong, athletic, competitive and that has a very fast pace. He is a very technical and smart player capable of not only defending but also distributing and possessing the ball when going forward. We are very happy to have Akira join Chivas USA, as his addition will strengthen our team in all aspects.”
Kaji, who has made more than 225 J-League appearances, will be eligible to make his MLS debut after the international transfer window opens on July 8.
Chivas USA resumes action after the MLS World Cup break Saturday against Real Salt Lake in Carson.
Who knew there were any skyscrapers in suburban Carson? (I kid; the poster will be on sale at the game Sunday at StubHub Center with proceeds benefiting charity).
The Galaxy will face a Chivas USA team Sunday desperately adrift in MLS before making way for the World Cup for a couple of weeks. It’s a doubleheader: LA Galaxy II (7-2-3) host the Dayton Dutch Lions (2-6-2) after the main event on the same field.
Other MLS games may offer more exciting options especially since it is a free MLS Live trial weekend. (if you haven’t seen a game on the MLS iPad app, you’re missing a thing of beauty. Check it out).
There’s a trio of international games today I’m watching:
Not only will Chivas USA play a game in the main stadium, but the LA Galaxy II will play a U.S. Open Cup game at 7:30 p.m. in the track and field stadium against amateur team PSA Elite, with the winner facing the Seattle Sounders in the next round. Tickets are $5.
With Mexico on television at 6 p.m. against Israel, it will be interesting to see how many people show up for a midweek Chivas USA game, especially one between two teams that have a total of four wins between them and are both sitting at the bottom of the Western Conference.
We’ll let the blunt Robbie Keane lay it on the line an explain what the sputtering Galaxy need to do to stop losing and start winning in a season threatening to go nowhere before it has really started:
“Just stop making mistakes, that’s how you lose games, you make mistakes and then you lose games. We just can’t make mistakes, the mistakes we’ve made are ones that can’t be made, and it’s fairly simple. If you we keep making mistakes like that we can forget about even making the playoffs.”