CARSON, Calif. – In hopes of adding depth to their backline, Chivas USA signed versatile defender Scott Gordon last Friday after a successful month-long trial with the club.
Drafted in the third round of the 2011 MLS SuperDraft by FC Dallas, Gordon’s size (6-foot-4, 190 pounds) and attacking prowess impressed the Chivas coaching staff enough to extend a contract to the 23-year-old defender.
As the ink dried on his new deal, Gordon was immediately placed on the team’s game-day roster for the match this past Saturday against the Vancouver Whitecaps. While he may not have gotten on the field in the 1-0 defeat, the defender is ecstatic to get his chance with Chivas.
“The deal went through; it was pretty exciting for me,” Gordon told MLSsoccer.com on Saturday. “It’s been two years now that I’ve been looking to sign with an MLS class and now that it happened, I’m pretty excited.”
Gordon’s professional journey began with Dallas, but after failing to make Schellas Hyndman’s squad in 2011, Gordon joined up with second-division Ft. Lauderdale Strikers. There, he flourished, making 19 appearances and tallying a goal and assist en route to lifting the team to the NASL final.
Not only did Gordon receive the game experience that he yearned for while with Ft. Lauderdale, but the career center back also made the switch to right back, where he was finally able to use his pace and passing ability to contribute to the attack.
“I was kind of devastated last year when I got released from Dallas, and it ended up being a blessing, because in Ft. Lauderdale, I got a lot of games,” said Gordon. “Especially in the second half of the season, I was the regular starter and I got the games and experience that I wouldn’t have gotten in Dallas, so it really helped me out a lot.”
The attacking skill Gordon developed in Ft. Lauderdale was on full display during his trial with the Chivas USA. In a pair of appearances in a preseason match against the Portland Timbers and against USL PRO side LA Blues last Monday, Gordon provided a stable presence along the right flank, but also showed a willingness to make forays into the attacking end.
Ultimately, it was Gordon’s two-way abilities that made it impossible for head coach Robin Fraser not to sign the versatile defender.
“Scott came to Portland with us for the preseason tournament and did extremely well as a right back and has experience playing center back as well,” Fraser told reporters on Saturday. “He’s a player that adds some depth and versatility to us.”
Now a full-fledged member of the club, Gordon is expected to serve as a backup for starting right back James Riley and also provide added depth at center back. While the starts and appearances may be few and far between, Gordon knows that his opportunity will come.
“I’m here to help wherever I can wherever they need me,” he said. “Whether it’s outside back or center back, I just want to help out the starters and hopefully work my way up to that point sometime.”
Adam Serrano covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at email@example.com.