CARSON, Calif. – With Chivas USA's offense struggling with just one goal through four games, head coach Robin Fraser is not averse to making changes to his lineup.
“It’s an evaluation process every day about who gets into the XI,” Fraser said on Thursday. “We have a number of guys who are very strong candidates at this point and have made very strong cases throughout the week.”
One of those players making a strong case is Ecuadorian midfielder Miller Bolaños, who has made a pair of appearances this season, both as a second-half substitute. While he has been used off the bench so far, the 21 year old put in a pair of solid performances this week that could have him on the edge of the Chivas starting lineup.
Bolaños was stellar in a 4-2 Reserve League victory against the LA Galaxy on Monday, notching a goal and combining effectively up top with forward Cesar Romero. He then put in another fine showing on Thursday in the Goats’ intra-squad scrimmage ahead of their Saturday match at Portland (10:30 pm ET, MLS LIVE).
Following Thursday’s session, Fraser admitted Bolaños is doing his part to remain in contention for a starting role.
“His progression has been very good,” Fraser said. “He’s working extremely hard and he’s starting to catch the pace of how things are done in this league and he’s just getting better and better.”
Ángel returns to training
One person who could light a fire under Chivas’ struggling offense is forward Juan Pablo Ángel, who appeared Thursday in the intra-squad scrimmage. The 36-year-old forward has missed the last three league matches due to concussion symptoms.
Ángel played alongside rookie forward Casey Townsend during the scrimmage and was aggressive throughout as he showed his trademark tenacity around goal. While he’s currently listed as doubtful and is unlikely to appear against the Timbers, his return to action was a step in the right direction for Chivas.
“He seems to be doing better,” said Fraser. “We’re happy to have him out here participating and getting back into it and we look forward to having him back.”
Adam Serrano covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.