CARSON, Calif. – As Chivas USA fight to get back into the playoff picture, head coach Wilmer Cabrera hasn’t ruled out further player movement before the summer transfer window closes next week.
The Goats have made two acquisitions this summer, adding former Japanese international Akira Kaji via free agency and veteran midfielder Nathan Sturgis via trade, but they might not be done.
“It’s always good to have a fresh person come into the team and help,” Cabrera told MLSsoccer.com ahead of Sunday’s home matchup against FC Dallas (10 pm ET, MLS LIVE). “Adding numbers to the roster is always important. Internal competition is always good.”
The current window kicked off July 8 and closes Wednesday, so this weekend’s game would be the final opportunity for Cabrera and his staff to analyze what they might need down the stretch. With three months remaining, the Rojiblancos sit seven points back of Dallas for the fifth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Cabrera has seen mixed results with this year’s transactions. The acquisitions of Adolfo “Bofo” Bautista and Luke Moore in the offseason were rather forgettable, as the forwards combined for only three starts and zero goals in failing to supplement rising star Erick “Cubo” Torres atop the formation. On the other hand, the inclusions of Mauro Rosales, Agustín Pelletieri and Donald Toia have proven to be key.
“It’s been incredible,” said Toia, who has started the previous 13 games. “I never thought I would get this chance, but I’m putting my head down and working hard to stay in the starting lineup.”
Cabrera said he has also been very happy with Kaji, who made his first MLS start last week, as well as Sturgis, whom the club acquired in exchange for former No. 2 overall MLS SuperDraft selection Carlos Alvarez last month.
“Very good players and very professional, and that’s what you expect,” the manager said. “They’ve been trying to get adjusted to the players and team really quick, and that’s a good transition so far.”
Chivas USA are the only Western Conference member with a negative goal differential (minus-12) and have scored an MLS-low eight goals at home this year. Cabrera did not specify which position needs the most attention.
“Right now, any area is important,” Cabrera said. “A good player is always welcomed.”