Following his first league start Saturday since March 10, and scoring his first goal of the season, Chivas USA midfielder Laurent Courtois did not speak to reporters. It seemed like an odd move at the time, since he had a strong game and contributed to Chivas' first point in eight matches.
But last night, Courtois took to twitter to make a significant announcement: That game would be his last with Chivas USA.
He has locked his twitter account, but here was his full announcement:
It was my last game with @cdchivasusa
Happy to finish with a golito.
Learned a lot and met buena gente
Thanks for the love everyone.
Although there was speculation that Courtois, 34, might be retiring, he later responded to a tweet asking about that with, "No! Still want to play! We'll see."
As a result, it appears Chivas USA is cutting the Frenchman loose. Although the timing may seem strange, within MLS rules, it isn't necessarily, as most MLS player contracts are guaranteed for a full year July 1. If a team wants to cut a player without having to pay his full salary, they have to do it by June 30. Today is...June 30. Add to that the fact that Courtois, despite renegotiating his contract last year, was Chivas' fifth-highest paid player, at $132,000, and the pieces evidently fall into place that this was a team decision.
We'll have to wait for confirmation on that front, of course. After joining Chivas in August 2011 (thus making him, remarkably, the fourth longest-tenured player on the team - what a mind-blowing fact), Courtois played 33 league games, scoring a goal in each of his three seasons and contributing an assist in MLS play. Additionally, he played in four U.S. Open Cup games the last two years, contributing two keys assists last year, including the free kick to set up Jose Correa's last-gasp headed winner in the quarterfinals last year.
In his short time with the team, Courtois became a fan favorite of sorts, and on social media, he was certainly the most sociable player by a long shot, frequently talking with fans on twitter. Although players are certainly not obliged to interact with fans to the extent that Courtois did, he genuinely seemed to enjoy the interactions, and with a team struggling to keep fans, let alone bring more aboard, they could take a page out of Courtois' book and make an effort to get players to be more approachable with fans.
Regardless of where his journey takes him, we thank Courtois for his service to the team and wish him the best moving forward!
What do you think? Leave a comment below!