Chivas USA announced Friday that they have added Eriq Zavaleta to their roster, on loan from Seattle Sounders. The deal is for one year, and represents the second intraleague loan under the system announced by MLS last year, following Tony Cascio's move from the Colorado Rapids to the Houston Dynamo.
Zavaleta, 21, was drafted by the Sounders in 2013 a Generation Adidas player out of Indiana University, where he led the Hoosiers to the 2012 College Cup. A versatile player, Zavaleta has split time between center back and forward in his career to date, and one of the mysteries about him is where he will ultimately settle at the MLS level. It appears it will be as a striker, but we'll see how Wilmer Cabrera uses him this season.
The move represents a homecoming of sorts, as he spent time in Chivas USA's Academy when his uncle Greg Vanney was assistant coach of the first team. Though he wasn't with the Junior Goats long enough to qualify for a Homegrown contract, it will be nice to see him suit up for the senior squad.
Given the needs Chivas have in both attack and defense, this move looks like a good risk/reward scenario. Zavaleta didn't feature much for the Sounders last year, making five appearances for 31 total minutes. He also had two short loan stints with the San Antonio Scorpions, scoring a goal in four appearances.
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