By ADAM SERRANO
Fresh off the plane from a trip to Guadalajara to train on the fields of mother club C.D. Guadalajara, Chivas USA looks to continue its development under new coach Martin Vasquez as the 2010 season approaches.
The Los Angeles club returned from Mexico with a 1-1 record against Mexican opponents during its time south of the border. As the team looks to improve enough to snap a string of four consecutive first-round playoff exits, the club is awash with new faces looking to earn a place on the roster. Flush with these new players looking to integrate into the squad, the Chivas squad looks press on in 2010 under new coach Martin Vasquez.
"When you go into preseason, you expect returning players to have a good preseason and show up ready for the season, then you'll have your pleasant surprises," said Vasquez.
One such surprise among the new players has been the play of Armenian youth international Artur Aghasyan. The 23-year-old forward has been impressive in training during the past few weeks scoring goals in three of the club's five preseason games.
Called a tireless worker by his teammates, the former member of PDL outfit Ventura County Fusion has made an impression on his coach as someone who can be a valuable contributor for el Rebano Angelino.
"(Aghasyan) came to our combine and we invited him in for a second practice session and then for our preseason," said Vasquez. "This kid is just enjoying himself and proving that he can play at this level."
Friday, the trialist showed further development, sliding into two goals during scrimmages and showing immense confidence in front of goal.
"The first time I came here, it was very different, but after I got more comfortable, I have gotten more confident and right now I feel very good," said Aghasyan. "We have a great coach here and we are really feeling (his words) on the field."
On Saturday, both old and new players impressed as Chivas USA continued their preseason with a victory over local club San Diego Boca. The two clubs played a pair of 60-minute matches with a pair of victories, 5-1 and 3-0. The star of the day was Chivas USA midfielder Mariano Trujillo, who had four assists during the first match, each coming off corner kicks. The versatile midfielder has been impressive in camp and is looking to solidify a starting position with the Rojiblancos.
"In preseason we're trying some different formations, I can play in the midfield and I like to play there, but I can also play right back, but as long as I'm in the starting line up then I'm okay," said Trujillo. "Today was a lucky day for me, but what is important is that we work hard as a team and that I work hard as an individual."
The club will continue its training for the 2010 season this week by heading to Arizona for exhibition matches against MLS opponents, Kansas City Wizards and the Columbus Crew.