Chivas USA appear to be close to retaining veteran Juan Pablo Ángel after making his return one of the club’s priorities of the offseason.
The 36-year-old forward regained his scoring touch with Chivas after making a midseason move from the LA Galaxy last season, scoring seven goals in nine games in the club's possession-oriented system.
Chivas have been one of the more active MLS clubs this offseason, parting ways with young striker Justin Braun while trading for midfielder Ryan Smith and selecting midfielder Arturo Alvarez in the Re-Entry Draft earlier this week. They also shipped midfielder Paulo Nagamura out to Sporting Kansas City.
But keeping tabs on Ángel is crucial to the Goats’ success going forward. The Colombian’s 68 goals are tied for the fifth most all-time in MLS over five consecutive seasons, and he’s one of only two players in league history to score at least 10 goals in five straight seasons.
“Talks are ongoing with Juan,” Chivas USA head coach Robin Fraser confirmed to MLSsoccer.com. “I'm certainly optimistic that we will have him next year, but until it's actually done, there's no guarantee.”
Fraser confirms Minda meeting, shoots down Flores rumors
Chivas USA’s search for new talent has taken them to Ecuador, and Fraser this week confirmed that the club has met with LDU Quito midfielder Oswaldo Minda about a potential offer for 2012.
Ecuadorian newspaper El Universo reported last week that Minda has been offered a three year deal by the Rojiblancos.
“He's definitely a guy that's on our radar,” Fraser said. “He's an intense, very focused two way midfielder, who does extremely well for his current team and the Ecuadorian national team. As we identify some of our needs going into next year, we need guys to be focused, we need some maturity and we need experience so he's a player that we find extremely intriguing.”
Meanwhile, Fraser shot down Salvadorian reports of a move for Isidro Metapán forward Andrés “El Ruso” Flores.
“Someone told me about that and told he was from Metapán and I actually wasn't sure where Metapán was,” Fraser quipped. “I've not heard of him and I don't know who he is.”
Academy shines in Winter Showcase
Chivas USA's U-18 and U-16 academy squads shined in the recent 2011 Winter Showcase in Florida going undefeated in three matches. The U-18s went 3-0 with victories over the Dallas Texans, Clearwater Chargers (Fla.) and Houston Dynamo. Chivas' U-16s fared nearly as well, going 2-0-1 in the same span.
The Rojiblancos youngsters were one of the most dominant teams over the weekend, tallying 23 goals while allowing only seven. While the youth teams shined, Chivas academy product Aldonis Amaya made one appearance with the US U-17 side that won the 2011 Nike Friendlies.
Adam Serrano covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.