Nagamura, Maldonado training with Chivas

Goats look to former midfielder, Venezuelan striker to fill void

Chivas USA returned to training on Tuesday morning, and among the players on the field were a pair of new faces in former Goats midfielder Paulo Nagamura and Venezuelan striker Giancarlo Maldonado.

The pair jogged laps around the pitch for half an hour before joining the Goats for stretching and a cool-down.

Chivas USA have interest in signing both Nagamura and Maldonado to help fill the hole left by the departure of Sacha Kljestan.

“They’re just training with us,” Chivas USA head coach Martín Vásquez said. “Because of Sacha leaving, we need to get two or three or four good players. Right now we’re very happy that they’re training with us.”

Paulo Nagamura, a native of Brazil, was a member of Chivas USA from 2007 to 2009, when he left the club to play with Tigres in Mexico’s First Division.

“My season in Mexico was pretty good,” Nagamura said. “It was a little different—a lot of things happened when I was with Tigres. Fortunately or unfortunately, they’ve decided to make a lot changes. Now I’m looking for new options.”

“I haven’t been released; I had a six-month contract with an option to buy,” he continued. “They still have until the middle of July to decide [whether to extend the contract], but I don’t know if I’m going to be able to wait until then.”

Nagamura was pleased to be back at The Home Depot Center on Tuesday and looks forward to continuing to train with Chivas USA.

“It’s great to be here,” he said. “I have a lot of friends here. It’s like a family. People here always treat me and my family very well. I have so much respect for the people of this organization. I’m glad I’m here training. We’ll see what happens.”

Maldonado, who declined to speak to reporters after practice, is an eleven year veteran who boasts 19 goals in 48 appearances for the Venezuelan National Team. After getting his start with C.A. River Plate in Uruguay at just nineteen years of age, Maldonado went on to play with Maracaibo in Venezuela, C.D. O’Higgins in Chile, and most recently, Mexican First Division side Atlante.

Chivas USA return to MLS action this weekend, hosting FC Dallas at The Home Depot Center on Saturday.

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