Nick LaBrocca is eager for stability after two years of being traded and he hopes to find it as a member of the revitalized Chivas USA.
A year after being traded away from the Colorado Rapids in exchange for defender Marvell Wynne, LaBrocca was sent to Chivas USA from Toronto FC on Friday.
The deal sent forward Alan Gordon to Toronto in exchange for LaBrocca. A two-way player that excels in a defensive midfield role, LaBrocca played in 28 matches for the Reds in 2010, making 24 starts and tallying a goal along with six assists. With a new adventure on the horizon, the 26-year-old is excited to join the Rojiblancos.
“I’m excited because I’ve heard good things about this team and its coaching staff and there are certainly things to build on from last season,” LaBrocca told MLSsoccer.com. “I bring a little bit of everything to the table and I’ll let my play on the field do the talking for me.”
The trade is a reunion of sorts for LaBrocca, who played alongside Chivas USA assistant head coach Greg Vanney during the 2007 season while with Colorado. After meeting up with the team in a hotel lobby ahead of their friendly with FC Dallas, Vanney was one of the first people offer congratulations on joining Chivas USA. LaBrocca admitted that it was “crazy to be playing with him one day and now playing for him the next.”
During the preseason, LaBrocca has been playing in a defensive midfield role in front of the Reds back line. He will likely play a similar role at Chivas, who have played with a defensive midfielder for most of the preseason while playing in a 4-1-4-1 formation.
“Anywhere in midfield, I’ll feel like I’ll be able to fit in,” said LaBrocca. “I played in a similar formation in Toronto and I got some good coaching points over there and I’m excited to use those points and apply them to my new team.”
LaBrocca joins a Chivas USA side that has been depleted by injuries to the central midfield corps. Paulo Nagamura (calf strain), Blair Gavin (hamstring strain) and Mike Lahoud (knee laceration) are all capable two-way central midfielders are all likely to miss the season opener against Sporting Kansas City.
LaBrocca is confident his new team’s defense will be able to perform.
“I think that everyone is going to mesh pretty well right there and it’s going to be mostly a matter of getting some goals,” LaBrocca said.
Adam Serrano covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter: @adamserrano