New Dad Nagamura Back From Brazil

Trip to witness child's birth postponed his fitness preparation

CARSON, Calif. – On July 16, Chivas USA midfielder Paulo Nagamura traveled to his native Brazil as an expecting parent. A little more than a week later, he has returned to Los Angeles as a father.

Nagamura and his wife are the proud new parents of Clara, a 6-pound baby girl, the couple’s first child.

“It all went pretty well,” Nagamura told MLSsoccer.com after training on Tuesday. “I was in Brazil for a couple of days. Everything is good with my wife and the baby. We’re really happy.”

Nagamura made his return to Chivas USA in time for the club’s match – his second since rejoining the Goats – against Real Salt Lake last Saturday. The 27-year-old played 69 minutes in his first MLS match back on June 25.

WATCH: MATCH HIGHLIGHTS: RSL 1, CHV 1

“It was tough,” he admitted about his fitness in the RSL match. “I was down in Brazil and I wasn’t able to do much training because I was in the hospital with my wife. The level of play in MLS is very high and very physical. I played as long as I could [against RSL] and then I needed to get off because I would rather see a fresh guy on the field who can help the team for the rest of the game.”

Nagamura’s primary focus since returning to Chivas USA have been to regain his fitness and adapting to his new teammates. He feels improvement on both fronts each day, but admits that he still has work to do.

“I have to adapt to the fitness again,” he said. “But once I get my feet for 90 minutes, I will be OK. It feels very good with my teammates. We have gained a lot of young quality. The results didn’t show in the first couple of months, but the team has done pretty well these past couple of weeks and hopefully we can make a run in the second half of the league.”

Nagamura is also learning a new Red-and-White system under first-year head coach Martín Vásquez. The midfielder had played all of his previous MLS games for the Goats under Preki before Saturday’s contest at Rio Tinto.

“I talked to Martín and he has told me to play the same way I’ve always played,” said Nagamura. “He knows me well, I worked with him in 2007. The team’s style changed a little bit with the way that he wants to play, but it’s not too much different. I’m well-adapted and I feel very comfortable in this new system.”