Amongst all the roster culling that has taken place since the end of the 2012 season, including this week's trades, Chivas USA have finally announced two signings for 2013. With the number of players on the roster having dwindled to 15, including just one full-time defender, the club announced today they have signed defenders Steve Purdy and Carlos Borja. Terms of the signings were not disclosed, as they never are, and we won't have a sense of their salary figures until they are announced in the spring.
Purdy, 28, is a California native who most recently played for the Portland Timbers. Joining the Timbers in their final pre-MLS season, in 2010, he played regularly, but with the jump to MLS and with some bad timing with injuries, he only made 11 league appearances the last two seasons. He did make the leap to represent El Salvador in 2011, and has actually played more games for them (13) than he did for the Timbers in 2011 and 2012. Played primarily as a right back, Purdy is tall (6'4") and occasionally plays center back. If Chivas coach Chelís hopes to deploy a three-man defense this season, Purdy could be deployed as the right-sided defender in the formation.
Last weekend, SB Nation Portland Timbers blog Stumptown Footy wrote an article about Purdy possibly signing for Chivas (full disclosure: I was quoted in the post). From what I've gathered from the Portland writers generally, Purdy was well-liked and seemed to be a bit unfortunate in the timing of his injuries. On the flipside, considering the relative weakness of Portland's defense the past two seasons, and the fact that they consistently had problems at right back, it has to be a bit worrisome that he couldn't break into the lineup. Still, hopefully a change of scenery will be helpful for both player and team. Welcome Steve!
Borja, 25, is beginning his third stint with Chivas USA. First signing with the club in 2006, he never made a league appearance from 2006-07 before moving on to Chivas de Guadalajara, although he never saw time with the main team, instead playing for former farm team Tapatio in 2008-09. Following that, he returned to Chivas USA in 2010, where he made eight league appearances (four starts) and scored a goal. With Robin Fraser coming to the club in 2011, Borja was cut, and played the last two years for the LA Blues of the USL-PDL. Borja played regularly for the Blues (and played some reserve matches against the Goats), but that was two league levels below MLS. Like Purdy, there have to be concerns about how effective Borja can be on a regular basis with Chivas USA, given his past struggles to see playing time, but perhaps the third time is the charm. Welcome back Carlos!
With the signings of Purdy and Borja, Chivas apparently now have three full-time defenders on their roster, including lone holdover Bobby Burling. Surely there will be more signings announced in the coming days, and most, if not all, will come from the ranks of preseason camp trialists. When we find out more, we will let you know.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!