John O'Brien

O'Brien close to joining Chivas USA

After Chivas USA's season opening 3-0 win against Real Salt Lake on Sunday, a familiar face walked in and around the club's locker room at The Home Depot Center.

U.S. international John O'Brien talked with national team manager Bruce Arena, and then ducked into the locker room while the Chivas USA's current players spoke with the media.

Chivas USA coach Bob Bradley said "there are a few details to square away" and that the club remained optimistic that O'Brien would join it soon.

"We're hopeful that we can put the last touches on that," Bradley said. "We all know that John is an excellent player that I think would be a great addition in terms of the way he plays and the things that he does on the field."

Chivas USA President and Co-Owner Antonio Cue said that a deal could happen, but likely not on Monday.

A Southern California native, O'Brien joined Dutch powers Ajax as a teenager and has played his entire professional career in the Netherlands. A year ago, O'Brien left Ajax for fellow Eredivisie side ADO Den Haag. Injuries, however, have kept O'Brien off the field for much of the last three years.

A key member of the USA's 2002 World Cup team, O'Brien figures to be in the mix for a 2006 World Cup roster spot. Having U.S. and Mexican internationals playing alongside each other is something Cue said has been one of his goals.

"I said when I started last year that one day I would love to have a lot of the players from the Mexican national team playing in Chivas and a lot of the players from the U.S. national team playing in Chivas," Cue said. "That could be something very unique."

If O'Brien joins the club, Chivas USA could have one player on each of the Mexican and U.S. World Cup teams. Claudio Suarez, who made his Chivas USA debut Sunday, was called into Mexico's provisional 26-man World Cup squad.

"We'll miss them, if that happens, but we'll be always very proud of that and very helpful of that for both national teams because in the end that's something those guys have deserved, they have earned it and this team will continue to work hard," Cue said.

Luis Bueno is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.

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