As the minutes following reports that Juan Pablo Angel would be traded to Chivas USA turned into hours and now days, still no official word on if a deal took place and what the terms were. However, that hasn't stopped Angel from telling everyone he can that he's a member of Chivas USA now. In addition to the article yesterday (in Spanish) from ESPNDeportes Los Angeles where Angel revealed the circumstances surrounding his Home Depot Center switch, translations in English have been popping up, including on the English-language version of the site. Lest you think this is being carried only by one giant network, JPA himself has been getting the word out, most recently tweeting that he participated in his first Chivas USA practice today. Also, the totally unreliable source of wikipedia has Chivas USA listed as his team.
A small part of me hopes this is some scheme by Angel to prolong his playing career by acting as though he's been traded to Chivas, in the hopes that Chivas decides to go along with it after seeing the public response. Admit it, it would be pathetic, but hilarious. More likely is that Chivas are dragging their feet, trying to decide if JPA warrants a press conference announcement since he's a designated player (would be Chivas' first DP ever) or if that is a silly idea since he's only scored three goals all season. I am also curious if this was a 'trade' and what Chivas might have given up for him. I really hope it is a month's rent at the HDC in exchange for taking Angel off their hands. No, really, just wondering what could be part of the deal on Chivas' end.
As ever, if anything breaks on this story, we'll let you know. In the meantime, let's get caught up on some more news:Do you remember Eddie Johnson? The original one, not the one who plays for the Portland Timbers. The U.S. international has reportedly signed with MLS and will go through the Allocation Order. (Note: this was originally officially reported by Greg Lalas on the league's website but the article has been pulled. Not sure if there is a technical snafu and will be reposted later or if there is some sort of development that warrants the article being pulled. I thought this was official, but treat the next paragraph as speculation if he has indeed officially signed to join the league).
This is probably a familiar process for Chivas fans by now, but the Goats have the top pick after passing on Benny Feilhaber and Freddy Adu. The allocation order only lasts for a season and then is reset again, and considering Chivas' record this year, they will not get as high of a place on next year's list. So they may want to pick up Johnson if they feel inclined to use it this year since I doubt any more U.S. internationals will be coming to MLS this season. At the same time, Johnson's career has taken a nosedive while in Europe, quite possibly worse than Freddy Adu's, and Adu's career track was pretty bad. I would hope Johnson would not merit a particularly high salary, although it will be considerably higher than the league minimum since he is an international, but I would only consider selecting him if the price was right and he looks and acts at all inclined to restart his playing career.
In news concerning players who are official members of the team, Adam Serrano has written an article for the league website about Heath Pearce making the most of his move to Chivas and to central defense, and how it paid off with a call-up to the first U.S. National Team game under Jurgen Klinsmann. There's a quote in there from Robin Fraser about the oddity of being called up and then not seeing the field, which is what happened to Pearce last week. Check it out.
Also, on the team's official website, a profile from Ramses V. Sandoval about Michael Umana. An interesting read about a player who doesn't see much of the spotlight. Take a look.
And in case you missed it, from last week, an article from Gabe Dahl on the club's website about Dan Kennedy's time as a teammate of Jurgen Klinsmann. A bit of trivia in there that you probably didn't know.
Finally, concerning Chivas youth development personnel: J.R. Eskilson of goal.com is reporting that Chivas youth team coaches have been dismissed following the merger of Chivas Academy and the New York Cosmos Academy West. In particular, Sacha van der Most, the academy director who was credited with establishing the groundwork for the junior Goats' impressive performance at the recent Generation Adidas Cup, was dismissed. There had been speculation that van der Most might be moving on to a higher profile job soon anyway, but considering the program being built, the summary dismissal of the rest of the coaching staff seems a bit harsh. (Scroll down article for item).