Hope springs eternal, and that's why Carlo Chueca is already being talked up as a player of note moving forward for Chivas USA in 2014. 2013 on the other hand? Well, it was all-too-brief to make a real assessment, let's be honest.
Chueca was signed at the very end of August, coming back, in a way, after spending several years in the youth systems of Anderlecht (aka Sacha Kljestan's club) and Mons, both in Belgium. Although he's from Peru, he spent several years prior to going to Belgium in Chivas USA's academy, so when he was signed, he was touted as a local product.
An attacking midfielder, Cheuca only made five appearances for Chivas USA, four of them off the bench, and like I said, it's hard to know what he can really do at this point. In his last two games, he took corner kicks for Chivas, something that has been a massive hole for the team for years, and if he can become the team's set piece specialist and actually be able to set up goals for the team that way, he could be very important indeed. But again, coming in 2013, we only got a glimpse of his play, and given the team's record in his five appearances, 1-3-1, it's not like there was a great deal to write home about.
These were Chueca's stats for 2013:
|Games Played||Games Started||Minutes||Goals||Assists||Shots||SOG||Yellow Cards||Red Cards|
|MLS Regular Season||5||1||148||0||1||3||1||0||0|
|U.S. Open Cup||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
Chueca had played a total 58 first team minutes in four matches previous to getting the start and playing the full 90 in the final match of the season against Portland. However if there is any silver lining from that match it would be the play of the Peruvian attacking mid.
Lost amid the scoreline was Chueca's form. He led the team is completed passes, making up 14.3% of the team's passes. This included 15 passes in between Chueca and and a smothered Erick Torres and seven more to Julio Morales. While goals are the most important statistic, Chueca's relentlessness on offense did merit the Goats seven corner kicks, in contrast to the Timbers' three.
He's 20, so maybe he'll turn into something good, or maybe even competent, or maybe he'll peter out like a slew of other recent players. Obviously I don't want to sound negative, but he's essentially a blank slate at this point. His individual statistics from his appearances this year indicate he may have some technical ability, but we need a far greater sample size to really know.
And based on the timing of his signing, and the fact that he has been named among the team's core moving forward, it appears quite certain he'll be sticking around into next season. However, since this is Chivas USA, one can't say it's for certain. Still, I'd bet we'll get to see more of Chueca in 2014.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!
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