Here's a signing that was never officially unveiled: Chivas USA confirmed to The Goat Parade on Thursday that they have signed defender Lyle Martin. The 29-year-old has apparently been with the team for quite some time, but he is not on their player page as of time of publication of this article, nor was there ever a release or news article announcing the signing.
Instead, the only confirmation of Martin's involvement with the team came from a tweet of a community event last month:
Thanks to Lyle Martin, @LACareHealth & Maywood YMCA for another great soccer clinic #GetCovered #StrongerTogether pic.twitter.com/aPSiley3ta— Chivas USA (@cdchivasusa) March 30, 2014
Martin has prior history with the Goats, as he was a third round 2007 Supplemental Draft pick, though he never signed with the club. Out of Cal State Bakersfield, he signed with the Vancouver Whitecaps in 2007, then in the USL, and stayed there until 2009, winning a league title with them in 2008.
His career then took quite a turn, as he became the first American to play professionally in China, signing with then-Chinese Super League side Shaanxi Chan-Ba (they have since become Guizhou Renhe). He played five games for them, then may have bounced around to a couple other Chinese clubs, before returning to the U.S. leagues in 2013, playing for the San Antonio Scorpions of the NASL.
Martin featured in the Chivas USA friendly last fall against FC Tucson, in a game that was a trial for a number of players.
However, it's unclear if Martin is injured or if the team has no plans to play him, as he has not featured in any game, competitive or friendly, so far this year.
He has a locker, he's being featured in the team's community outreach, but he hasn't stepped foot on the field in any sort of game conditions that I've been aware of.
Therefore, it is unclear what Martin's place actually is on the team. Maybe he'll be incorporated going forward. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if he is waived at some point, especially considering the circumstances surrounding his signing. I also wouldn't be surprised if this is akin to the Ante Jazic situation last year, where the club upholds the contract they signed with the player, but won't play him at all. Obviously, stay tuned on that front.
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