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Welcome, welcome back: Chivas USA looking to fully integrate Marvin Chavez into attack

Marvin Chavez for Chivas USA

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USA Today Sports

CARSON, Calif. – The post-break reintegration of midfielder Marvin Chavez into the Chivas USA lineup could be considered an introduction of sorts, given that the Honduras international logged only about a half hour in his debut with the team before reporting for World Cup duty.

As the Rojiblancos search for complementing options for their one-man wrecking crew known as Erick “Cubo” Torres, head coach Wilmer Cabrera has high expectations for Chavez, who the club acquired in early May from the Colorado Rapids.

Chavez showed his capabilities shortly after joining the squad – scoring twice in 33 minutes against his former team after taking the field as a substitute – but then was off to prepare for the World Cup with Honduras.

Torres, who has scored 12 of the club’s 17 goals this year, told reporters he’s glad to have another potential scoring threat back in the fold.

“Without a doubt, he’s a player that balances things out and I trust him tremendously,” Torres said. “I can play off him well and he supports us with good passing or even shots at goal. I’m very happy to be able to work with a player that’s been selected for his country’s national team, and I hope to continue working with him to bring joy to our fans.”

Chavez played a season-high 88 minutes last weekend in a 1-0 victory against the visiting Montreal Impact, recording one shot but also showing pace alongside Torres and Leandro Barrera near the top of the formation. It marked his first MLS start since last August, when he was with the San Jose Earthquakes.

In Brazil, the 30-year-old played a total of 52 minutes in two appearances for Los Catrachos.

Cabrera told reporters he tried to move some players around Saturday as they fought fatigue from their third game in eight days, while Chavez was given some freedom to roam. Veterans Nathan Sturgis, Mauro Rosales and Eric Avila have been more assertive in the attacking third.

Captain Carlos Bocanegra said Chivas USA might also be able to find some offense by being more efficient in set piece opportunities.

“Mauro hasn’t found the back of the net on a set piece yet,” Bocanegra said. “We also don’t get too many chances on set pieces and we don’t have possession of the ball up there too much or get fouled in dangerous spots. It’s a little bit scrappy, but we’re getting wins.”