General manager Jose Domene has put together two huge deals today and Chivas USA are a better squad for it. To make these deals happen, Domene gave up Heath Pearce and Michael Lahoud, two popular players who ultimately did not fit into his vision for the squad.
It's a bold, but reasonable gamble by Domene. It is true that defender Danny Califf does have many, many miles on his legs and is on the wrong side of 30. It also cannot be denied that Juan Agudelo has not yet shown the consistency and goal tallies that his talent suggests.
True as that made be, the Goats are a better team on May 18 than they were on May 17th. We acquired two players who fit the exact roles this squad needs at the expense of two good players who just didn't fit the mold. More after the jump.
Pearce did an admirable job filling in at the centerback position but in the end it just wasn't a good fit. With the New York Red Bulls Pearce will likely move to his more comfortable left back position and will likely thrive as a result. Califf meanwhile is a natural centerback who embraces organizing the backline and brings a needed vocal ferocity to the Chivas defense.
Lahoud is the unfortunate beneficiary of circumstance. He showed well during the preseason but a hamstring injury kept him out of the first eight games. When a player misses too many games in the beginning of the season, it's not unusual for him to be dealt. It did not help that Lahoud was mired in a squad stacked at the winger position, and as a result Lahoud found himself outside of the team's plans.
Domene and head coach Robin Fraser are revamping the offense from the current staid and predictable attack to a more dynamic, attacking unit. In Juan Agudelo, Chivas acquires a quick, technically gifted young striker who can help jumpstart the Goats stalled offense. Instead of putting crosses into the box and hoping JPA or Alejandro Moreno can put something on it, the new expectation is that Agudelo, Jose Correa and Casey Townsend can form a creative, high octane striking corps who can play the ball on the field and make runs off of each other.
The new Chivas players are certain to benefit from a change of scenery and would both appear likely to have a better rapport with Chivas manager Robin Fraser than their prior regimes. Agudelo's relationship with New York coach Hans Backe was often strained. The Swedish-born manager had a tendency to declare Agudelo central to the Red Bulls future and then leave the U.S. international benched for several games at a time. Califf's humbling falling out with coach Peter Nowak this past March was fodder for many MLS pundits. The OC-native is an ex-teammate of Fraser's. Both players had requested trades from their parent clubs.
At the end of a busy day, Chivas fans have good reason to be fired up. Domene deserves credit for wisely and patiently accumulating allocation money. And when it came time to make a deal, Domene made the trades on his--not Peter Nowak's--schedule.
Not too shabby for a new Dad! (Domene announced on twitter that he has a new baby girl)
What do you think? Leave a comment below!