*Chivas USA today finally confirmed the signing today of English forward Luke Moore, a player that judging by the above video is not accorded universal respect from some fans of his previous clubs, to put it mildly.
Chivas USA rescued the former West Bromwich Albion and Swansea City forward from exile in Turkey with Sanica Boru Elazığspor, where his career had stalled apparently much like his finishing touch in front of goal.
Not surprisingly, Chivas USA sees Moore’s signing in a somewhat different light:
“Moore is a very talented player who has proven his scoring ability at the international level by playing in one of the biggest leagues in the world,” said Chivas USA coach Wilmer Cabrera. “He’s going to be a very important addition to our team in terms of competition, depth, and possibilities up front to create scoring opportunities and goals.”
*Robbie Keane has been rehabbing his Achilles since offseason surgery, but showed he’s not far off the pace anyway with this prescient strike in the Galaxy’s comfortable 3-0 win over the Galaxy II Saturday in Carson:
Said Galaxy coach Bruce Arena:
“Robbie Keane needs to work hard in the next couple of weeks to be ready and he is getting there. He did a good job tonight. The first goal was unbelievable. I don’t know how he quite saw that, it was ridiculous. That’s why we are paying him the big bucks.”
*Don’t look now, but the downtrodden Goats are unbeaten in preseason and capable of a gutsy three-goal spurt while trailing by two in the kind of come from behind win that instills belief, even in preseason:
*Finally, former Chivas USA coach Bob Bradley and a couple of other players you may have heard from were inducted into the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame as the 2014 inductees:
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) February 21, 2014
*The Galaxy also signed Mexican native Raul Mendiola, 19, whose hometown is listed as Torrance on the Galaxy website. More on both players here.
*Chivas USA have reportedly come to terms with English striker Luke Moore. At age 28 he’s in the prime of his career; problem is, that career has stalled as his goals have dried up.
*Meanwhile, UCLA is touting its men’s recruiting class as the nation’s best for the second year in a row.
And that, in a nutshell, is what MLS announced today and Commissioner Don Garber expanded on in a conference call with reporters this afternoon.
The Chivas USA experiment is mercifully over and few local soccer fans will weep at the club’s demise.
The search for local owners is on, but Garber said neither David Beckham nor Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke, who recently bought land in Inglewood for a rumored NFL stadium, will be involved.
MLS beat reporter Phil Collin will have more later (as will I), but for now here are a few key Garber quotes from the teleconference.
On whether it was an issue with the market in Southern California or the suburban South Bay:
“We absolutely believe Los Angeles and Southern California can support two (MLS) teams,” he said. “I don’t think it is a market issue at all, it was an execution issue. We’ve learned a lot.”
On how quickly MLS hopes to find new owners for the club:
“This is a heavy lift. We bought this team at market price. We didn’t assume it. We had to convince the Vergaras to sell it to us as opposed to others,” he said. “Our goal is to get a new owner by the end of the year. I think that’s ambitious, but that’s our goal.
“There is no rush,” he added. “We want to get this right. You can only relaunch (a club) once. And we’ve got to get it right the second time around.”
On whether MLS was involved in trademarking Los Angeles FC and other potential team names recently or (now former) Chivas USA owner Jorge Vergara and his wife:
“My guess is they were thinking about whether they would rebrand,” he said. “It’s not really relevant to what were talking about here.”
Chivas USA drew with PDL club FC Tuscon today at the Desert Diamond Cup.
Here’s the Chivas USA lineup:
Tim Melia (Trialist #2, 45’), Andrew Ribeiro, Fejiro Okiomah, Andrew Jean-Baptiste, Michael Nwiloh, Trialist #1 (Carlos Alvarez, 45’), Carlos Borja, Kristopher Tyrpak, Bryan de la Fuente, Caleb Calvert (Trialist #3, 68’), Carlo Chueca
Experienced help: Argentine Agustin Pelletieri, 31, will add guile to the Chivas USA midfield after the club announced his signing today (Photo Courtesy Chivas USA).
Guess he passed the trial.
Chivas USA trialist Agustin Pelletieri has latched on with the club on a permanent basis, as expected.
The 31-year-old last played for Argentina’s Racing Club de Avellaneda.
“Agustin is a very experienced and important player, who will be an asset to our team,” said Chivas USA Head Coach Wilmer Cabrera. “He has been a captain for a very important club in Argentina for the past four years so he brings leadership on and off the field, which is a very important aspect for us to try to get the results we need this season.”
“Technically, he is a very smart player who knows his position very well. He is fantastic at reading the game, and has a very good idea of how to win, possess and distribute the ball. He is a well-rounded player in all aspects.”
Meanwhile, Los Angeles-based soccer scribe Luis Bueno provides his thoughts on the re-branding of Chivas USA that increasingly looks a case of if, and not when, it’s going to happen.
If you love futbol, it’s apt that the new Mexico away kit went on sale today.
Here’s more on the design from adidas:
The new away kit of the Mexican team stands out through an innovative combination of red and black, reinterpreting classic jerseys of the national team worn in previous World Cups. This color combination was first used in Uruguay 1930 through to Sweden 1958.
The color in the jersey pays homage to the passion, union and the combative spirit reflected in the red color of the Mexican flag. The shirt´s design is completed with black elements, around the v-neck, the borders of the sleeves and the traditional adidas three stripes, which provide elegance to the jersey’s design.
The crest is placed at the height of the heart featuring a dichromatic application. Below it, a black fretwork graphic is repeated subtlety in red tones down the front of the shirt.
The colors of the Mexican flag are present at the back of the jersey through the stripe located under the shoulders where the word “México” is framed in green, white and red. The rest of the kit is complemented by black shorts and red socks.
Buy it here (along with other adidas World Cup kits the company has released this week).
*The Galaxy are in Fresno this weekend taking on the San Jose Earthquakes Saturday. A preview is here.
And here’s a wrap of the Thursday exhibition mentioned in the above article that marked the first-ever game of the Galaxy II, the club’s new USL Pro affiliate.
The first-ever #LAGalaxy II Starting XI: Laurendi; Sorto, Steres, Diallo, Bli; Djokovic, Stojkov, Walker, Mendiola; McBean, Bowen
The way forward: New Chivas USA coach Wilmer Cabrera is under no illusions about the magnitude of the task he faces (Photo courtesy Chivas USA).
Chivas USA coach Wilmer Cabrera has enough to worry about on the field, but he is also cognizant of the on-going debate surrounding the club and its fan base given recent clumsy efforts to emphasize its Mexican heritage:
“Chivas USA is not exclusively for Mexican Americans,” he said Monday. “Chivas USA is an American team in MLS, which is an American league and it is open to everyone.
“No one wants to support a really bad team, that’s normal,” he added. “The only way is to try and change the mentality and little by little we’re going to reach out, but were not going to reach out to one small group of people, we want everyone.”
For more from Cabrera and his plans at Chivas USA, read this week’s column.
Southern California’s large Armenian population came out in force (despite the above Tweeted pic they made up most of the crowd) to watch reigning champions FC Shirak provide a lively challenge for the Galaxy in the club’s opening preseason game yet were turned back by goals from Brazilian newcomer Samuel and Hawthorne’s Gyasi Zardes.
Galaxy fans got their first glimpse of newly-signed homegrown player Raul Mendiola who the Galaxy have yet to formally announce has turned pro along with Bradford Jamieson, another Academy player. He made a few alert runs and generally telegraphed he was the sort of player to attract foreign clubs’ attention in the past.
“He is a little raw, but he plays with confidence,” coach Bruce Arena said. “A lot of good plays, some not so good. But good for his first time.”
The overall performance pleased Arena:
“FC Shirak played really well, they put a lot of pressure and they tested us,” he said. “Tthey looked like a team that was a little more fit than we were. I think it was a good game. They are very well organized, good pace on the counter. They put our guys in some difficult situations, which is good. I think it was a very good exhibition match at this time of the year, obviously there is a lot of things we have to work on.”
Arena had words of praise for Zardes, too:
“Very good finish, I don’t think he would’ve finished that play last year. He had a good night, and we are going to be playing him in both positions.”
And here’s newly-signed Canadian striker Rob Friend on his interaction with Landon Donovan and other attackers:
“We are all getting used to each other, everyone is getting used to my game, what I can offer,” he said. “There were more direct balls; Landon can run off really well with me. There are a lot of positive things that can come out of that. He moves well off the ball, I try to focus to stay more central, stay high in the pitch to stretch the team. It works better when guys like Samuel and Kean can run off me, I’ll try to run the ball and do the dirty work. We’ve only played two full 90 minutes together, so like I said, we are still learning from each other, but a lot of positives.”