BY MIKE DONOVAN
Chivas USA has already replaced their head coach this season and now they are shaking things up in their front office.
The Goats announced Wednesday that Arturo Galvez will take over as the President and Chief Business Officer of the club. Prior to his appointment, Galvez served as International Director with Chivas Guadalajara and has also worked with Deportivo Saprissa.
Galvez is replacing Jose David, who was hired in October. David’s 11-month tenure was marred by multiple lawsuits against the club that claimed the club used discriminatory practices.
Here are more of this week’s notes from around the Western Conference:
The surging Colorado Rapids have just one loss in their last 12 matches and head coach Oscar Pareja has been able to put together the good run-of-form using a variety of starting lineups. Unlike some managers who try to have a consistent starting XI, Pareja prefers to mix and match depending on the opponent.
“(Lineups) depend on the opponent or the plan of the game, depending on what we need or what we want,” Pareja told the club’s website. “I want to say that one of the best players against Los Angeles was Nick LaBrocca, and Nick wasn’t in the roster (Saturday vs. FC Dallas).”
Fabian Castillo, who has five assists in his last five matches, is playing some of his best soccer since arriving ar FC Dallas after transferring from Deportivo Cali prior to the 2011 season. While the 21-year-old Colombian has had his goal total go down from six in 2012 to two so far this season, he has been able to improve his all around game.
“I think Fabian’s playing probably the best soccer of his life,” Head Coach Schellas Hyndman told the club’s website. “One thing you deal with in young players is inconsistency and that’s what we’ve been going through. We’ve seen some wonderful moments from him and then some ugly moments and I think what you’re starting to see now is that those wonderful moments are happening more often and continuing.”
Landon Donovan, who suffered an ankle injury against DC United during Saturday’s 2-2 draw, is hopeful that his “light sprain” won’t keep him out of upcoming matches.
“It got rolled on,” Donovan told the club’s website. “We got tangled up and (Silva) ended up landing on it. Hopefully it’s not too bad. …I’ll get it looked at and we’ll see how it goes.”
LA will host the MLS-leading Seattle Sounders Saturday at the StubHub Center.
Max Urruti, who was traded to the Timbers on Sept. 9, made his club debut in last Saturday’s 1-1 with Chivas USA, coming on as a substitute in the 72nd minute. And while 18 minutes is not enough time to fully evaluate a player, head coach Caleb Porter is happy with the Argentine’s progress since being acquired by Portland.
“I thought it was certainly a good step in the right direction,” Porter told the Oregonian. “We’ll continue to bring him along, continue to evaluate his fitness and continue to integrate him in with the team.”
REAL SALT LAKE
Despite going up against what may be the biggest sports rivalry in the state of Utah, Real Salt Lake is within 1,000 tickets of a sellout for Saturday’s clash with the San Jose Earthquakes. The MLS game starts approximately an hour before BYU and Utah match up for the final time until 2016, and while RSL considered changing the start time of their fixture to the afternoon, they ultimately decided to stick with the original scheduling.
“We’ve done this in the past, a near-sellout or sellout,” RSL coach Jason Kreis told the Salt Lake Tribune. “I think it’s a pretty clear indicator of where we are in our sport and where we are with the support in this community. I think all of us feel extremely proud and extremely pleased with that support.”
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
Marcus Tracy’s season is over. Tracy had surgery to remove a meniscus in his right knee last week and that has ruled him out of the remainder of the 2013 campaign. The 26-year-old forward made five appearances for the Earthquakes this season and also played in four Reserve League games.
Sitting at the top of the table, Seattle head coach Sigi Schmid is now stuck with a dilemma that most coaches would love to have. The problem is deciding which players, almost all of whom are in-form, the coach should leave on the bench.
“It’s a good problem to have because you have options,” Schmid told the Seattle Times. “The team is playing well, so obviously there is going to be disappointment in whoever’s not in that lineup.”
Jay DeMerit, who tore his Achilles tendon minutes into the MLS season opener, returned to league play for the first time since his injury when he came on as a first-half substitute Saturday against the San Jose Earthquakes. The former U.S. International came on in place of an injured Brad Rusin.
“It’s great to have him back,” Whitecaps head coach Martin Rennie told the Province newspaper. “It’s great timing to have him back. It’s something that’s a big encouragement for us. To come back as fast as he’s come back is incredible, really, and it just shows how determined he is to succeed, how willing he is to work.”