CARSON, Calif. – As Chivas USA forward Casey Townsend continues his transition to the big leagues, he may have to transition to a new position as well.
After scoring the lone goal for the Rojiblancos in their 1-0 victory over Real Salt Lake on March 24, playing time has been hard to come by for the rookie, who has made just one start – against Sporting KC – and two late-game appearances since.
In hopes of earning more time for the rookie, Chivas USA reserve coach Carlos Llamosa started Townsend on the right flank during their match against the Seattle Sounders. And despite seeing only minimal time on the flanks since being drafted by the Goats, the move paid off as Townsend notched a goal in an eventual 4-3 loss.
“I like to think that I can play anywhere,” Townsend said. “I don’t want to be a one-dimensional player; I can do other things as well, but obviously I like to score goals and get in the box and that’s what I’m here to do.”
Although playing time has been scarce lately for the rookie described by many, perhaps hastily, as the next Taylor Twellman, the industrious Townsend is doing whatever he can to get back on the field.
“I’ve progressively gotten better and it’s been a steady rise,” Townsend said. “Hopefully the coaches have seen that I’m trying to get better and do the work as well as do things like staying after practice. I’ve thought that I’ve gotten better over time.”
Goat Abroad: Bowen finishing loan spell
The Rojiblancos may soon be welcoming Tristan Bowen back to MLS in an attempt to reinforce their offense. Bowen, who was the league’s first Homegrown player, is currently on loan with Belgium second-division side KSV Roeselare.
Bowen has made a total of 23 appearances – 22 in league play and one in the Belgian Cup – and scored three goals for Roeselare since being loaned out last August. With Roeselare’s season ending on Sunday and Bowen’s loan spell ending when the transfer window reopens in June, the Rojiblancos are beginning to evaluate how much the 21-year-old has developed during his time overseas.
Following the club’s reserve match on Monday, Chivas general manager Jose Domene told reporters that Roeselare does not have an option to renew Bowen’s loan and the club will be sending staff to Belgium in the near future to evaluate the striker. While it remains to be seen whether or not Bowen is in the club’s plans, head coach Robin Fraser admitted they would be open to integrating the young forward.
“As we look throughout the season, we know that he is a part of our team and he’s off gaining potentially valuable experience,” said Fraser. “We’re focused on the group that we have at the moment, but certainly he can be contributing member. We’ve seen Tristan be a good player, so depending with what happens on his situation in Belgium, we’re always excited about having new players.”
Ángel scores for reserves
Juan Pablo Ángel scored once as Chivas USA’s reserves fell 4-3 to the Seattle Sounders on Monday.
Two days after going 27 minutes in the Rojiblancos' 1-0 defeat at the hands of the Philadelphia Union, the Colombian went 65 minutes against Seattle, scoring a goal from a penalty kick in the 39nd minute. Midfielder Laurent Courtois and Townsend also tallied for Chivas.
Sammy Ochoa notched a brace for Seattle, with Andy Rose and Cornell Cato rounding out the scoring for the Sounders.
Adam Serrano covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.