According to the club, Chivas USA is beginning training camp this weekend. Yesterday and today were scheduled to be days where players were taking physicals, with some light training beginning today. If the start of camp seems early, that's because the season starts earlier than ever, with the Goats hosting the Columbus Crew March 2 for the opener.
The club has made no official announcements about any player personnel movement in the offseason, besides the quartet who entered the Re-Entry Draft in December (Juan Pablo Angel, Danny Califf, Alejandro Moreno, Peter Vagenas). As a result, the roster is as much of a mystery as it has been in a long time. But with camp opening, we got a sense of who is currently around, and who may not be back.
MLSsoccer.com Chivas USA beat writer Luis Bueno was at training today, and he tweeted about the players present and absent, answering questions about particular players in the process. Here are the players who he said were there at the Home Depot Center today for training:
Shalrie Joseph (in gym, apparently trained separately)
Bueno said that he counted 23 players altogether in training today. Here were notable players who he said were not there:
As Bueno mentioned on twitter, and it is worth remembering, there is a chance that at least a few of these guys may be late returning to California. Valencia is almost certainly gone, as he has apparently returned to Colombia and signed for Tolima. Smith has reportedly signed with a Greek club. Cardozo was rumored to be out, as was Minda. That leaves Correa and Riley as question marks.
Obviously, five of those six players were international players, with Riley being the exception. Knowing that Chivas wants to bring in a number of Mexican players, it isn't surprising that the club has perhaps targeted the international players as ones to drop in order to make room for newcomers. Personally, I want to see Minda and Correa back (as I'm assuming Smith is gone for good), and I'd like to see Riley back as well, but given their international status (again, for all but Riley), who knows?
It is fantastic to see Bolanos back in training with Chivas. This has to be a good sign that his loan was extended, or that he got a transfer to the Goats for this year. And Juan Agudelo is still training with the U.S. Men's National Team, and won't be in camp until after January 29.
In addition, a number of rumored Chivas USA players arrived in Los Angeles yesterday, and the proof was all over twitter. Again, the club has not officially announced the signing of these players, perhaps waiting until they pass physicals, but defender Mario de Luna, goalkeeper Antonio Rodriguez, midfielder Giovani Casillas, and midfielder Edgar Mejia came last night and have been all over twitter about joining Chivas USA, and with the Union Ultras meeting the players at the airport:
Rumbo a LA! Listo y muy emocionado.... On my way to LA! Ready and very excited!— Antonio Rodriguez (@TonoRodriguez1) January 17, 2013
Muchas gracias por el recibimiento y muestras de afecto amigos de @cdchivasusa y elchivamayor, un abrazo a todos que dios los bendiga.— Chore Mejia (@Chore_Mejia) January 18, 2013
Gracias de verdad,un saludo a todos... twitter.com/delunamario/st…— mariodelunaoficial (@delunamario) January 18, 2013
So, add Rodriguez, de Luna, Casillas, and Mejia to the preseason squad, as the first of what could be many players from Chivas de Guadalajara to come to Chivas USA (2013 edition).
What do you think? Leave a comment below!