Chivas USA looking for impact player
Despite nearly two feet of snow falling on some parts of the Eastern seaboard in the last 36 hours, the 2011 MLS SuperDraft will go ahead as planned on Thursday evening in Baltimore.
And Chivas USA – with the fourth overall pick – will be looking for a player that can make an immediate impact next season.
“We’d like to find a player who we think can come in and help us right away,” new Chivas USA head coach Robin Fraser told MLSsoccer.com on Wednesday afternoon. “If you’re in a situation where you have a number of players in positions already and you’re very deep, then this draft – and any draft – is less significant for you. But when you’re in the building stages – as we are – we’re certainly hoping to get a player that can help us right away.”
Chivas USA endured a disappointing 2010 season, finishing the year at the bottom of the Western Conference with an 8-4-18 record. But after several front office changes and with Fraser now at the helm, the team is eager to turn things around next year.
“We have more needs than an established team,” Fraser said. “For us, we could certainly improve in several areas. While we have very good players in certain areas, we are pretty wide open. Probably the wisest thing we can do is to have a couple of contingency plans. We’re never sure exactly who will be there. That said, I’m confident that we can get somebody who can help us.”
The 2011 SuperDraft is loaded with talent. An accomplished group of college players is joined by several young players from South America to make up what is likely one of the best player pools of the last few years.
“There are a couple of interesting players, for sure,” Fraser said. “I feel like, in the past, it always seems like there have been a number of players in a certain position. Some years there were a bunch of outside backs, some years it was center-backs. This year, the talent is kind of all over the place. There is no specific position that’s overloaded. There are some decent players at a number of positions.”
Fraser has certainly had a busy few weeks with the move from Salt Lake to Southern California. But the newly-minted Goats head coach insists he’s had plenty of time to evaluate this year’s crop of talent.
“I’m pretty well-acquainted with this draft class,” he said. “No matter how busy or tight your schedule is, it’s an important mechanism by which we can make teams better. It’s always important that you dedicate enough time to [scouting] that you feel like you have a decent feel for these players.
“I think we’ve done enough that we feel like we have a pretty good handle on where the talent lies this year.”
Chivas USA also hold a pick in the third round, the 40th overall.