Chivas USA's cavalry must wait
CARSON, Calif. - Juan Pablo Garcia is signed, sealed and all but delivered. Francisco Palencia is on his way, according to Chivas de Guadalajara's vice president. Luis Alvarez and Hector "Pirata" Castro are rumored to be joining soon.
In the span of a week, Chivas USA has added or been linked to proven, talented and experienced players. And what was the collective response from current Chivas USA players? A yawn may have sufficed.
"They'll be good when they get here. They'll bring a lot of experience and leadership to the team," Chivas USA goalkeeper Brad Guzan said. "But right now, we've got to concentrate with the guys that we have. The guys in the locker room, we've become one as a family. We just have to get the job done with who we have."
Unless Mexico collapses royally in the Gold Cup, the earliest any of the aforementioned players could join would be July 22. If Mexico were to lose their quarterfinal match - or fail to reach the knockout stage - Garcia would be available for Chivas USA's match that day against New England. Otherwise, none would play for the Red-and-White until August.
Thus, Chivas USA will play three league games and a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup match without Garcia and the other rumored invitees. Those nine points cannot be squandered away waiting for help to arrive.
"We try not to think about it right now," Antonio Martinez said. "We've got a few games without them. We have what we have right now and we've got to work with what we have. We try not to think about who's coming, who's leaving, who left. We're trying to make a better team with what we have and to get results right now."
Still, having the players available and part of the team is and will be positive, forward Matt Taylor said. The offense has stalled all season, but more particularly of late. Chivas USA last scored on June 22 against FC Dallas. Subsequently, the club was shut out 3-0 at Kansas City and 1-0 against Chicago.
Garcia, a budding young striker, is expected to contribute immediately.
Palencia, meanwhile, is on vacation and upon his return, he will join Chivas USA, said Nestor de la Torre, Chivas de Guadalajara vice president to Mexican news agency Notimex. Palencia's firepower would also help up front. Alvarez and Castro, meanwhile, are defenders and could contribute in the backline.
Chivas President and Co-owner Antonio Cue has said the earliest reinforcements could join the team would be in August. Still, whenever they arrive, they will be welcomed with open arms.
"It can only do good things for our team," Taylor said. "This is the most important time for us. We really need help at this point of the season. There's no better time to get some players to help us create and score some goals."
Luis Bueno is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.