Chivas USA officially present Nagamura and Maldonado
CARSON, Calif. -- Chivas USA officially welcomed the club’s two newest signings, Paulo Nagamura and Giancarlo Maldonado, on Monday morning during a press conference at The Home Depot Center.
Red-and-White head coach Martín Vásquez was also on hand to celebrate Nagamura and Maldonado, who signed with the team on June 25 and July 8, respectively.
“We’re very positive about Giancarlo and Paulo coming in and strengthening our group,” said Vásquez. “We’re optimistic that they’re going to help us to get on the right track and to continue to have the same objectives that we had at the beginning of the year.”
Nagamura returns to Chivas USA after a six-month stint with Tigres UANL of the Mexican First Division. Before heading south of the border, the Brazilian had made 78 appearances and notched 8 goals for the Red-and-White from 2007 to 2009.
“I’m very happy to be back,” said Nagamura. “[This is] a place I should have never left. I had the opportunity to play in Mexico and I gained a lot of experience playing there. It’s a different style of play. I hope I can take this experience and help my young teammates.”
Nagamura endured a tough season with Tigres, winning just five games out of 17 and finishing in 15th place out of 18. The midfielder made 14 appearances for the side during his time in Mexico.
“I had a great experience in Mexico. I have no regrets,” said Nagamura. “But I have so much respect for [Chivas USA]; they always treated me like a professional. I owe them. I think I can help the team on the field.”
As for Maldonado, his arrival in MLS will not be his first stint away from home. The Venezuelan international has already logged time in Chile, Brazil and, most recently, Mexico with First Division side Atlante.
“This is going to be a very productive step in my career,” said Maldonado in his first appearance before the press. “I had some great experiences at Atlante and I plan on drawing on those here at Chivas USA. This is a great opportunity to come to MLS and show my skills.”
Maldonado is also the all-time leading goalscorer for the Venezuelan National Team. The 28-year-old has scored 19 times in 48 appearances with La Vinotinto.
“First and foremost, I’m a team player. My main objective is to help this team win by doing my job,” said Maldonado. “Hopefully, the goals will come. I’m going to give it my all, as I have always done, and I’m looking forward to adding my talents to the Chivas USA roster.”
Both Nagamura and Maldonado will be eligible for Chivas USA’s opening-round Superliga game on Thursday evening in Los Angeles. Their experience in Mexico will certainly come in handy as the Goats take on Puebla FC.
“We will incorporate Giancarlo into the attack right away because of the skills that he brings to the table. He’s a player that’s already in rhythm; he can hit the ground running here,” said Vásquez. “With Paulo, we’re going to have the flexibility to change our lineup and be strong in every spot.”