In the search for veterans for his young club, Chivas USA head coach Robin Fraser has brought in a pair of World Cup veterans to aid in his rebuilding effort. The club announced on Wednesday that it has signed New Zealand Internationals Simon Elliott and Andrew Boyens to contracts.
After only a few days on trial with the club, the pair will be joining the Rojiblancos on a free transfer; the rules of the agreement were not released per league rules.
Both were on New Zealand's squad for last summer's World Cup in South Africa. Elliott started in all three matches and Boyens was an unused substitute.
The veterans impressed in Chivas USA's 1-0 win over the San Jose Earthquakes on Monday. The 36-year-old Elliott played the first 35 minutes, while Boyens played the last 52 in the 105-minute scrimmage. Elliott appeared well composed in a midfield holding role and helped the Rojiblancos dominate possession while creating attacks forward. Similarly, Boyens performed well during his action.
The pair will look to make an immediate impact at a youth-laden Chivas USA squad. Midfield is one of the deepest positions for the Goats, but after a successful performance in the scrimmage, Elliott should challenge for a spot right away. Boyens adds a depth behind first choice center backs, Jimmy Conrad and Michael Umana.
[inline_node:328024]Apart from their use on the field with a combined 11 years experience in MLS as well as playing at the highest level in the Premier League and World Cup, the pair will be expected to teach the youth on the squad. With Chivas USA heading into 2011 with a first-year head coach, along with a squad that is one of the youngest in MLS, the veterans will be expected to help the squad acclimate to the fast-paced and physical league.
Boyens spent last year with the New York Red Bulls but was released by the club before preseason. He has spent three years in MLS with a stop at Toronto FC prior to joining the Red Bulls.
Elliott spent last year with Wellington Phoenix of the A-League after the World Cup. An eight-year MLS veteran, Elliott has played for the LA Galaxy, Columbus Crew and San Jose Earthquakes. He also spent time with EPL side Fulham sandwiched in between MLS stints. While at the Crew, Elliott played with Fraser for two seasons.
“These signings give us depth and experience in the middle of the field,” said Fraser in a press release. “I have known Simon for a long time; he’ll be able to help us both on and off the field, and we saw in the World Cup last summer what he’s capable of. Andrew is a solid central defender with international experience who will be a good addition to our back line.”
Both will be eligible to suit up upon receipt of their international transfer certificates (ITC). Chivas USA will have only one day left in Carson before heading to Casa Grande, Ariz., for a week-long training camp.
Adam Serrano covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter: @adamserrano