CARSON, Calif. — There are some new faces at Chivas USA’s preseason training camp.
Head coach Robin Fraser brought in striker Karo Okiomah (pictured above) this past week, as well as South American midfielders Alan da Silva Souza from Brazil and José Nájera from Colombia.
Okiomah was taken in the first round of the 2012 Supplemental Draft by the Houston Dynamo with the 12th overall pick, but was cut by the team on Feb. 17. The High Point University product had impressed the Chivas staff at the MLS Combine in January.
“He's kind of a big, strong forward who's flown under the radar a bit,” Fraser said of Okiomah. “He tested athletically really, really well at the Combine. ... When he became available again, we're looking, and we’re looking, trying to make the best decisions possible to become the best team possible.”
While Fraser got a chance to see Okiomah firsthand, Chivas’ new South American invitees come to camp as the result of a tip from the coach’s regional “connections.” Alan most recently played for Cypriot club AEK Larnaca, while Najera arrives from Colombia’s Real Cartagena.
“I think that we have a couple players in who play with a bit of savvy and a bit of understanding and who are technically good as well, so they're interesting to watch,” Fraser said of the South American duo after training on Monday. “[They are] guys who, as you watch them play, certainly, day by day, you can see the qualities that they have, and their understanding of how to move about the field, and both have good attacking minds, for sure.”
Adam Serrano covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.