Liverpool product trialing with Chivas USA

Fraser evaluating versatile 18-year-old attacker Jason Banton

CARSON, Calif. – Chivas USA head coach Robin Fraser has shown no hesitation making changes to lineups or bringing in players that he believes can help the Rojiblancos get back to the playoffs.

The latest of those players is 18-year-old English forward Jason Banton. The young attacker is currently property of English giant Liverpool FC and is on a week-long loan with the Goats.

“Everyone that comes here to train is a candidate,” said Fraser. “He’s a player that we heard about and got in contact with and he’s over for a week’s trial.”

Banton joined the Liverpool academy in January after stints with the youth programs at Arsenal and Blackburn. While playing at Rovers, Banton was part of the team that went to the semifinals of the 2009-10 FA Youth Cup.

Banton is a versatile player with the ability to play both up top and on the left side of midfield. This versatility will likely prove vital in his attempt to latch on with Chivas USA, as that's a key attribute in Fraser’s 4-1-4-1 system. Many in the forward corps have been called upon to play at different positions throughout the preseason and the early part of the year.

On Tuesday, the fleet-footed Englishman was training with several members of the first team. Benton saw time at both forward – working on finishing drills – and at left wing while in a short-sided match towards the tail end of training.

Despite having only seen him a handful of times, Fraser raved about the young Liverpool product’s abilities.

“He’s got some talent, he’s a young player and only 18 years old, but he’s in some good environments and has some good parts to his game,” said Fraser.

Adam Serrano covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at adam.m.serrano@gmail.com and on Twitter: @adamserrano