Again, it's a pretty quiet week around Chivas USA, but let's give you a news roundup. In addition to yesterday's announcement that Chivas will be playing in a preseason tournament in Portland, most of the rumblings surrounding the team are of the rumor variety, which you know should always be taken with a grain of salt until an announcement is official.
But let's start with a current Goat. As you are probably aware, Jorge Villafana has been training in the U.S. Men's National Team U23 camp in Florida. Although we won't know if he impressed enough to warrant a spot on the U23 squad for the Olympic qualifying tournament in March for a couple of months yet, there have been a few stories out of the camp and how the invitees have fared. Most notably, Ives Galarcep had an article from yesterday on Fox Sports featuring an overview of the camp's participants. Obviously, Villafana's inclusion in the camp was something of a surprise, and he's been considered a defender in this group, despite playing in midfield all season with Chivas. Still, Galarcep considers him "the lone natural left back in the group." That doesn't mean another left back can't come in and take his spot, but it might be a good sign for his chances in the qualifying tournament.Galarcep's website Soccer By Ives also has a video featuring clips from the camp and an interview with U23 coach Caleb Porter. I thought I might have seen Villafana from behind at the start of the video, but I'm really not sure if that was really him or not.
Also on the Villafana front, Gabe Dahl has an article from yesterday on the club's website about his recent name change and the training camp call-up.
From last week, Adam Serrano has an interview with James Riley, first published on the league's website, discussing his move to Chivas. I have to say, I'm getting excited to see him on the field in 2012 with Chivas.
Ok, now onto the recent transfer rumor rumblings. The newest one comes from Colombia, where American goalkeeper Diego Restrepo said he is likely to move on after his current club, America de Cali (Colombia) was relegated from the top flight this past weekend. Restrepo was the starting keeper for the club this season, but I'm not sure what relegation does to his credentials. Still, he told Goal.com (in Spanish) that Chivas USA was a club that had shown interest in him, in addition to the Philadelphia Union, and other unnamed clubs in South America. If you'd like to read a blurb about it in English, check out Tom Marshall's most recent Gringo Report on the MLS league website.
Although it is unclear at this point how serious the interest Chivas might have in Restrepo could be, it seems like it would be a strange move for both parties. Dan Kennedy is the established number one keeper for Chivas, barring injury, and so Restrepo would have to ride the pine if he came to the Goats. He's young, at 23, but unless Chivas think Kennedy will get a transfer abroad (nothing indicates any interest, mind) in the next year or two, when Restrepo could be groomed to become number one, he'll get frustrated and likely force another move. The same frankly goes for the Union, who have Faryd Mondragon, admittedly entering the twilight of his career, but have young American keeper Zac MacMath ready to take the starting job himself after playing well when Mondragon was injured. I think Restrepo will likely stay in Colombia, as he is familiar with the league and will probably find a better situation where he could start there.
Finally, Scott French over at ESPN Los Angeles reminds us of transfer rumor targets Nicolas Dieuze and Oswaldo Minda. You may remember Dieuze is a French midfielder who trialed with Chivas in October, and he is still out of contract, so he is presumably still available. Minda is an Ecuadorean midfielder who is rumored to have been offered a contract, and French notes the following: "...although the club has announced nothing on either of them, their signings are thought to be imminent if not completed." We all know Chivas moves at a snail's pace when it comes to making many personnel announcements, so this could very well be a done deal that won't be disclosed for weeks, or it could be up in the air. It seems like the chances these players will be coming are pretty good, but don't believe it until it's been announced. I'll keep watching their twitter feeds too in case they spill the beans before the club does (it's happened before, right Juan Pablo Angel?).
So how do you feel about Restrepo, Dieuze, and Minda? Good, bad, indifferent?
What do you think? Leave a comment below!