New Signing Courtois Eager to Play

French Midfielder talks about joining the Red-and-White

Laurent Courtois @ training

Photo Credit: 
Gabe Dahl

CARSON, Calif. (Thursday, August 4, 2011) - He’s played in some of Europe’s biggest leagues - Spain’s La Liga, the French Ligue 1 and the English Premier League – but new signing Laurent Courtois insists he’s starting from scratch with Chivas USA.

“In my head I’m starting from zero, like I’ve never done anything,” Courtois told  “This is the better way to learn.  I have to be accepted in this league, and in this changing room. This is a total different football from what I’ve seen so far [in my career].  So it’s going to be a total new start for me, and I think have quality to try and do it, slowly.”

Of course, Courtois won’t actually be starting from scratch.  His background is one of the key reasons he was brought in, says coach Robin Fraser.

“Laurent is tremendously experienced,” said Fraser.  “He has a very good first touch, is a good passer, and is a very intelligent and experienced soccer player.”

Courtois told that he and assistant coach Greg Vanney (who played for SC Bastia in the French league) have a mutual friend, and that’s where his contact with the Red-and-White began.

After a successful trial, Courtois was signed by the team and could appear as soon as this weekend’s game against New England. 

The Frenchman is left-footed and says he is comfortable playing any position across the midfield.  Courtois describes himself as an attacking player, and is looking to help the Goats turn their possession into goals.

“I’m going to try and bring something to finish the job and get the points,” said Courtois.  “It’s a shame to dominate the game and still leave with zero points.  That’s frustrating, so let’s work on it.”

When asked how’s he been welcomed by his new teammates, Courtois smiled. 

“This is the biggest surprise, how people received me,” he said. “The guys have been great… I’m really looking forward to [finally playing].  I had to get paperwork done but now I’m here, thanks to God, and I’m going to work for the team and I’m really happy.”

It was hard to ignore the weather as Courtois spoke to after Wednesday’s training, but he insisted he’s not here for the sun.  He’s focused on the team, and his playing his game.

“Yes, actually that’s not the worst thing,” he said, laughing, about the weather.  “But basically, it’s not what I came for.  I came to start a new [stage in my career].  I want to show that I have qualities.  Let’s do something with Chivas and hopefully it will be good.”