A couple of rumored player departures for Chivas USA made the rounds and/or picked up steam today.
Midfielder Ryan Smith, who was rumored to have received interest from Greek Super League club Skoda Xanthi, has been signed by the club today, according to an announcement on their website. He is also listed as a player on their team page. Terms of the deal were undisclosed, and although there is no official word, I'm presuming there won't be a transfer fee paid to Chivas USA either. Xanthi has connections to players in MLS in recent years. Mariano Trujillo signed with the club in 2007 but never played for them, while Seattle Sounders goalkeeper Michael Gspurning played for Xanthi prior to coming to Seattle in 2012. At the moment, the club is tied for 12th in the league, just above the relegation zone.
Obviously, we'll have to see if there is confirmation from the club, but this move looks to have happened. I know Smith was inconsistent with Chivas in 2012, but he was talented, and it will be a shame to lose him after just one season. At the same time, he was a player taking up an international spot, and I'm guessing Chivas USA are trying to clear those as much as possible, so the writing looked to be on the wall with Smith. Best of luck to him if his next stop is in Greece.
The other rumor is pretty slippery, and appears much more shaky at the moment. Defender John Valencia signed last offseason, and struggled with Chivas USA in 2012. There are mixed reports that he may be on his way back to Colombia, but here's the rub - there are two Colombians named John Valencia playing pro soccer right now, and both players are 30 years old. From what I have found, all of the written reports link the other John Valencia (sometimes spelled Jhon) to Santa Fe, not "our" Valencia. So, Santa Fe may be looking to add all of the John Valencias, or there are probably some mixed reports. We'll have to keep watching this.
(H/T to @Behindtheflock for finding Smith on Xanthi's roster and for bringing up Valencia rumors on twitter).
What do you think? Leave a comment below!