After the recent Eddie Johnson debacle (American Eddie Johnson not signing with MLS, not the English one playing for Portland who got a concussion in warm-ups), I guess it should be taken with a grain of salt, but MLS is reporting today on their website that American forward Sammy Ochoa has signed with the league. Remember, MLS works as a single entity relative to the other teams and leagues around the world, so the first step for many players is to sign for the league, and then they will go to an interested club. Ochoa, who grew up in the LA area, has been playing in the Mexican Primera for Estudiantes Tecos, which have played surprisingly well so far in the Apertura season, but are expected to be in a relegation battle this year. For Ochoa, he hasn't been getting much playing time since he's been with the team and the 24-year old is presumably moving to MLS to restart his career.
The speculation so far has been that Ochoa will be coming to Chivas USA. Rumors have been circulating around the internet, and those were stoked by Chivas General Manager Jose Domene tweeting over the past several days that he was going to start making announcements on his twitter account for fans. Portland Timbers owner Merritt Paulson recently joined twitter and it was seen as a savvy move by a savvy club, so perhaps Domene thought he would get in the game.
Continued after the jump
First, on Monday Domene tweeted: "For all you @cdchivasusa fans, every week I will tweet, more than once, about your team, inside info, exclusive news and of relevant updates"
He followed that up with, ".. so stay tuned for this week's updates"
Yesterday he tweeted, "@cdchivasusa fans, we'll have news about a player soon (this afternoon, or tomorrow morning). Keep you posted"
Then he finished yesterday with, "All @cdchivasusa fans, the news will have to wait until tomorrow morning. You'll be the first to know..."
Today, he started down a new track with this somewhat cryptic tweet: "Many @cdchivasusa players have been called to their National Teams. Stay tuned for announcements by club (webpage + twitter)."
But then he got back in the player announcement (sort of) game: "I'm also waiting for confirmation to announce something"
Finally, this was his last tweet to this point: "Sorry @cdchivasusa fans the annoucement on a player will have to wait."
I'm guessing you could connect the dots, and Sammy Ochoa it seems likely will be coming to Chivas USA. But for a team that reportedly had Freddy Adu a couple weeks ago until the last possible moment when the deal was nixed, reportedly by owner Jorge Vergara, one can never be 100% certain. Ochoa will probably be cheaper than Adu, and for those of you who think that the team wants Mexican players (although I don't think that is necessarily the primary aim), Ochoa's Mexican-American identity would seem to fit the profile.
I have to admit being frustrated by Domene's announcement that is getting dragged out, because I think it reflects badly on the team. It seems like the front office was totally in on the Freddy Adu situation, and I think they were as taken aback as everybody outside the club about the last-minute reversal. But it took the club several days after everybody knew Juan Pablo Angel was coming to the team to make an annoucement, and JPA himself confirmed it before the club managed to say anything publicly about it. That is really sloppy, and now Domene's efforts to build a connection on twitter between himself and the fans is backfiring in a similar way. I think this effort to connect to fans is fantastic, but to tease a fanbase that has been jerked around quite a bit the last few weeks, intentionally or not, is ridiculous.
Obviously it's a developing story, and if Ochoa does indeed join Chivas we'll have more on him and his potential impact for the Goats.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!