Tuesday, April 19, 2011

No Big Names

What gives with Chivas USA?

Ever since they were first founded, the club has had some sort of aversion to acquiring a big-name franchise-type talent.

Now, they've had some very good players in the past, and had one player who fit that bill in Brad Guzan. But they drafted Guzan and developed him into a player you could build a team around. And even he's not a big name, just a guy who could have been the face of the franchise for many years.

Juan Pablo Garcia and Francisco Palencia were talented players and you could make a case that they were big names. I won't, although I respected the duo and would have liked to have seen them play for several more years in MLS.

But that's about it as far as talented big names go.

Now, the club has the chance to snatch up a name player that could be the centerpiece of a franchise, and again the club is reluctant to pull the trigger and get the player in. Benny Feilhaber fell right into Chivas USA's laps. Feilhaber signed with MLS and with Chivas USA atop the allocation table, he was theirs for the taking.

The deadline for Chivas USA to take him and keep him, take him and trade him, trade the allocation spot or simply do nothing and pass is Tuesday, and it's looking more and it's looking more and more likely that Feilhaber will have as much of a chance as Guzan does in wearing the red-and-white stripes this season.

What gives? Is Chivas USA afraid of landing a big-name, big-talent player? Coaches have come and gone but the mentality remains the same.

Thomas Rongen was around at the start but couldn't do anything to bring in a top talent right from the start.

Bob Bradley traded the club's Designated Player slot away before the team even had the chance to consider a potential player to use it on.

Preki dealt away Amado Guevara, a player who was a big name within the league.

The club couldn't get Omar Bravo to join as the player instead opted for Kansas City, of all teams.

The only constant with all of these acquisitions is, of course, Antonio Cue, and to a lesser extent Jorge Vergara. Cue is the person who has been around on a daily basis (more or less) from the start while Vergara has been around every now and again since the team started playing in 2005. Maybe they believe the best way to build is from within. To be fair, Chivas Guadalajara does not do a lot of chasing after players. They produce players and ship them to other clubs, such as Javier Hernandez, Carlos Salcido and Carlos Vela, all Guadalajara products. Perhaps they just do not have a buyer's mentality about any player, and that's why we've seen the team try to nickel-and-dime their way to contention.

Whatever the case, it is disappointing to potentially see a player such as Feilhaber so close to Chivas USA and yet not all that close to begin with.

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