CARSON, Calif. — Young Chivas USA talent Tristan Bowen is heading to Europe to try his luck.
The 21-year-old, who was MLS' first Home Grown signing, will join Belgian second-division side KSV Roeselare on a year-long loan deal. The deal was first announced by Chivas USA general manager José Domene on his Twitter account on Thursday and was confirmed by head coach Robin Fraser on Friday.
Although Bowen has had his difficulties working his way onto the team’s starting 11 this season, Fraser is pleased that the young forward will get a unique chance abroad.
“What a fantastic opportunity," Fraser said. "I think he’s a young man that has unbelievable potential and he’d been here for awhile and had grown a little bit stagnant, so what a great environment for him to really kick-start himself again.”
After being acquired from the LA Galaxy in the offseason, Bowen has struggled to make an impact with the Rojiblancos, only making three appearances in 2011. Fraser played Bowen primarily as a left wing after the youngster had spent much of his early career at forward.
Despite his difficulties, Bowen heads for Europe with a strong pedigree, having played two years with the Galaxy after being signed in 2009 before coming across the hall to Chivas. The forward had his finest season in 2010 when he played 17 matches for LA, starting 10 games and scoring two goals.
Fraser believes Bowen will return from his experience of being in a European environment a better player for Chivas USA.
“The experience of being overseas, of being on your own, these sorts of growth experiences are important for Tristan,” Fraser said. “Because of that, I think his soccer will blossom.”
Adam Serrano covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter: @adamserrano