Chivas USA adds depth to roster
Depth was the primary concern in Friday's MLS Supplemental Draft for CD Chivas USA, as they doubled their roster of goalkeepers from two to four and chose a pair of versatile midfielders with their four selections.
Chivas USA selected goalkeepers Javier Barragan and Dan Kennedy, and midfielders Helmis Matute and Mike Muñoz. The players are slated for the reserve team, Chivas USA Director of Soccer Dennis te Kloese said.
"For us, it's very important we give importance to our reserve team," te Kloese said. "This is a good chance for these players, who in other years, probably would have been left out of the league. Now it's a good opportunity for them to train and have competitive matches."
Chivas USA snatched the 5-foot-11 Barragan from Cal State Dominguez Hills with their first pick, the second overall pick in the supplemental draft. Like many of the previous SuperDraft or expansion draft selections, Barragan is a Mexican-American. He was born in Bellflower, Calif., to Mexican parents, is bilingual and is passionate about soccer.
"Ever since I was a little kid I wanted to play soccer," Barragan said. "My dream was to make it to a professional team. All I can say is it feels really good to actually accomplish my goal that I've been working towards for many years."
Barragan, 24, originally tried out for Chivas USA as part of the club's Sangre Nueva campaign and was invited back to train on several occasions.
"All I wanted to do was to prove myself," Barragan said about Sangre Nueva. "I showed them everything I had and I had no regrets at the end."
Chivas USA have faith in Barragan.
"He will get an honest shot to show his abilities and his quality is good enough. It's why we picked him first here," te Kloese said.
After Barragan, Chivas USA chose Matute, a midfielder out of Virginia Commonwealth University, and Muñoz, a midfielder from the University of California.
"They are creative guys in our style of play who can help us a lot," te Kloese said. "They play several positions in the midfield ... It is also important for us to pick players who are able to play several positions, on the right side or on the left side."
Lastly, Chivas USA selected Kennedy, a 6-foot-1 keeper out of NCAA College Cup runner-up California-Santa Barbara.
"We'll be playing with two teams, the first team and the reserve team. We need four goalies at least in case of injuries, in case of suspensions," te Kloese said. "He'll be a very useful player for us."
The quartet will join Chivas USA for training after the club returns from Guadalajara on Feb. 14.
Luis Bueno is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.