CARSON, Calif. — In the midst of their most brutal stretch of the season, Chivas USA have added some new blood that will also provide a great deal of experience for the young squad.
The club announced on Thursday that it has added French midfielder Laurent Courtois, a 32-year-old left winger and a veteran of several top European leagues, including the French Ligue 1 and the English Premier League.
Courtois has trained with the club since Tuesday and Fraser said he believes he can participate in Saturday’s match against the New England Revolution, though his inclusion is pending international paperwork.
“Courtois is a very intelligent and experienced player who we’re excited to have," Fraser said.
A product of the Olympique Lyonnais academy, Courtois has spent time with several clubs, including Toulouse FC, West Ham United and, most recently, French second-division club Grenoble Foot 38. Some of his time in Ligue 1 overlapped with that of Chivas coach Greg Vanney, who spent 2002-2005 with Bastia.
During training on Wednesday, Courtois showed flashes of his game, providing speed along the wing and sending in several probing crosses to Chivas USA forwards during an intrasquad scrimmage.
“I’m going to try to bring something to help finish the job to get us points because it’s a shame that you can dominate a game and end up with zero points,” Courtois told MLSsoccer.com. “In my head, I’m starting from zero, which is the best way to learn. This is a different league than I’ve seen before, so it’s going to be a new start for me. I think I have the quality to perform.”
While the signing of Courtois bolster the Rojiblancos’ depth, Fraser admitted that he’s not yet finished bringing in players and is specifically targeting a forward.
“Everything is being looked at and we’re continuing to look for sure, but until you get the exact piece that you want, you’re still getting pieces that are extremely important,” said Fraser. “We’re always looking for forwards and we’ve got a few other pieces that we’re looking at currently.”
Adam Serrano covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter: @adamserrano