CARSON, Calif. – Former Chivas USA midfielder Simon Elliott is returning to the Rojiblancos – on the club’s technical side.
A team source confirmed to MLSsoccer.com on Thursday that the former New Zealand international and World Cup veteran will be joining the club’s front office as technical director and head scout.
Over the past two weeks, Elliott has become a regular presence at Chivas training and, during the club’s scrimmage with local NPSL side FC Hasental on Thursday, Elliott was spotted in the stands in Chivas USA gear and spent some time talking with the coaching staff before and after the match.
The announcement signals the end of Elliott’s illustrious 19-year playing career, which completed when the Rojiblancos declined his contract option during the offseason.
Elliott made 69 appearances for the New Zealand national team while playing for a number of top clubs, including spending two successful years with English Premier League club Fulham. He also spent nine years in MLS, appearing for the LA Galaxy, Columbus Crew, San Jose Earthquakes and most recently, Chivas USA.
Ángel unlikely against Sporting KC
It appears that Chivas USA will be without forward Juan Pablo Ángel for the third consecutive match.
After training scrimmage with FC Hasental on Thursday, head coach Robin Fraser confirmed that it appears unlikely at the moment that Ángel (at right) will be available on Sunday against Sporting KC (9 pm ET, watch LIVE online) due to precautionary measures surrounding MLS’ concussion protocol.
The league’s protocol states that a player must be symptom-free for a week, see a doctor and past numerous tests before returning to the field.
“I’m not sure, I need to talk with the trainer, but I think it’s most likely,” Fraser said of Ángel’s uncertain status.
While the club will likely be without the Colombian for the third consecutive match, Fraser believes that one player’s absence does not change his approach to their match against SKC.
“At the end of the day, we want to have all of our best players available for selection, but whoever we’re missing as a group, we have to move forward,” Fraser said. “This is the way that it’s going to be, you’re always going to have players who are on the brink of fitness or suffering from injury and it’s so rare that you have your whole roster available. The mission doesn’t change regardless of who is available.”
Villafaña returns from Olympic duty
Chivas defender Jorge Villafaña has returned from his time with the US Under-23 side and the young defender is hoping to use the failed qualifying campaign as motivation to return to the Goats’ starting XI.
Villafaña made a pair of starts during the tournament, playing at left back for the US U-23s during their 2-0 defeat to Canada and decisive 3-3 draw against El Salvador that knocked the squad out of Olympic contention.
He returned to action earlier this week and appeared in the club’s victory over FC Hasental.
“It’s hard to forget about it, but I just need to focus now on Chivas and work hard here,” Villafaña told MLSsoccer.com on Thursday. “[Fraser] told me sorry about the loss, but just to focus here and keep working. It has to motivate me because the Olympics are a big dream and if that doesn’t come true then that means that there is going to be another opportunity and you have to work hard to get a chance and be a part of those opportunities in the future. “
Adam Serrano covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org