CARSON, Calif. – Former Mexican national team forward Adolfo “Bofo” Bautista is looking to regain top form. Chivas USA are looking for offensive help.
Naturally, they appear to be a perfect match.
Bautista was introduced during a press conference Tuesday alongside fellow offseason acquisitions Andrew Jean-Baptiste, Tony Lochhead and Mauro Rosales, as well as new head coach Wilmer Cabrera and first assistant Paul Caffrey. Most of the attention, though, was paid to the Mexican League veteran who sounds motivated to resurrect his career in MLS.
“I liked what I heard as soon as we spoke about the possibility of coming here,” Bautista told reporters. “I had a few options to stay in Mexico and I know Chivas USA has not had great seasons, but I’m here to attack this challenge and help this club regain the fan base. I want to help Chivas USA get to the top of the standings.”
Bautista, 34, has 38 caps and 11 goals with the Mexican national team but has been criticized for being out of shape the last few years. He was on the roster for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa but sputtered shortly thereafter with mediocre stints at CD Guadalajara, Querétaro and Atlético San Luis, where he made five appearances last year without finding the back of the net.
The Goats were willing to give him a chance.
“I'm happy about this chapter in my career,” Bautista said. “I take great responsibility on my position here. I had an opportunity [to come to MLS] a while ago, but for whatever reason it didn't work out. I'm happy that it's happening now. I'm motivated to contribute here at Chivas USA. Hopefully I can retire wearing this same jersey in Mexico, but right now the objective is to score goals and get assists here.”
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Scoring proved difficult for Chivas USA in 2013. Forward Erick Torres led the Rojiblancos with seven goals despite joining the team past the halfway point of the season. Their second leading scorer was midfielder Eric Avila, who had just three goals.
“We know about [Bautista’s] skills,” sporting director Paco Palencia told reporters. “He’s very talented and always tries to make damage to other teams. He always finds spots to get the ball to make assists or make goals. He’s very important to the new era of Chivas USA because he’s going to change the game.”