The reports from earlier in the day were indeed accurate, as Chivas USA and the Vancouver Whitecaps announced on Thursday that they have traded midfielders Mauro Rosales and Nigel Reo-Coker. As is custom, details of the trade were not disclosed.
Reo-Coker, 30, had played for the Whitecaps the last two MLS seasons, scoring a goal and six assists in 44 league appearances. The Englishman came through the youth system at Wimbledon before making his professional debut for that club in 2002. From there, he played for West Ham United, Aston Villa, Bolton Wanderers and then Ipswich Town before making the jump to Vancouver.
A regular under former 'Caps boss Martin Rennie, Reo-Coker appeared to fall out of favor with new coach Carl Robinson, as he appeared in 12 of 23 games in 2014, racking up a pair of assists. After a bizarre incident in which he publicly claimed he tripped over a bike rack while walking in Vancouver in March, he was forced to miss a few games due to a concussion, and Robinson appeared to not really consider him a core member of the team beyond that.
For Chivas, the deal means they get a player younger than Rosales, but they sacrifice Rosales' playmaking abilities, as he was the only healthy player on the roster able to fill a playmaker's role. Given the immense struggles with the team scoring goals beyond star striker Erick Torres, that's a major concern for the homestretch of the season. And with the addition of Reo-Coker, CUSA have an absolute glut of defensive or defensive-minded midfielders (Oswaldo Minda, Agustin Pelletieri, Nathan Sturgis, and Marky Delgado are all either d-mids, or have skillsets that essentially overlap Reo-Coker's).
The move has led to considerable speculation on social media that moving Rosales on means more moves could be in the works. Specifically, Rosales' DP slot is now open, so attention turns back to Jermaine Jones, previously linked to Chivas USA but most recently linked to the Chicago Fire and New England Revolution. Could that be on the horizon? Who knows, to be honest.
But it seems like an unfortunate departure of Rosales, a player who did not transform Chivas' attack but certainly contributed to it. We'll see how Reo-Coker settles in, but seeing Rosales go in the middle of the season seems like a big shame, really.
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