Chivas USA is the latest MLS club to join the trend of signing Colombian central defenders.
Following in the recent footsteps of the Portland Timbers and FC Dallas, the Goats announced the signing of veteran Colombian centerback John Alexander Valencia on Tuesday, adding the 30-year-old, 6-foot-4 defender to the club. Valencia most recently played for Atletico Junior in Colombia and is a player that Chivas general manager Jose Domene said he has been scouting for some time.
In addition to Valencia, Chivas signed former U.S. Developmental Academy and Salvadoran midfielder Marvin Iraheta. The 19-year-old was part of the New York Cosmos West-based academy that merged with Chivas earlier this year. Iraheta was also part of the Cosmos club that played against Manchester United in the Paul Scholes testimonial.
Here are a few more stories from around the soccer world:
CARDIFF CITY REACHES CARLING CUP FINAL
With the way the Carling Cup draw and knockout rounds unfolded, there was destined to be an underdog in the final. That team is Welsh side Cardiff City.
Cardiff outlasted Crystal Palace in penalty kicks, 3-1, after the two played to a 1-1 aggregate draw in their two-legged semifinal tie.
Crystal Palace defender Anthony Gardner, who scored his club's goal in their first-leg, 1-0 victory, was guilty of an early own goal that pulled Cardiff City equal on aggregate. The two clubs battled for 113 more tense, scoreless minutes before taking their semifinal to a penalty shootout.
Cardiff keeper Tom Heaton came up huge, making two saves in the shootout round, and the club awaits either Liverpool or Manchester City in next month's final at Wembley Stadium. Liverpool won the first leg, 1-0, and carries that advantage into tomorrow's second leg at Anfield.
DEL PIERO DELIVERS FOR JUVENTUS
Alessandro Del Piero is the focus of Designated Player talk in North America, but across the ocean, the 37-year-old veteran is still delivering for Juventus.
Del Piero delivered a sensational goal as part of Juventus' 3-0 rout of Roma in the Coppa Italia quarterfinals. Emanuele Giaccherini opened the scoring in the sixth minute, while Roma's Danish centerback Simon Kjaer capped the scoring with a 90th-minute own goal. Juventus played the last 20 minutes up a man after Argentine playmaker Erik Lamela was sent off. Here's video of Del Piero's finish:
THIRD-TIER CLUB REACHES COPA DEL REY SEMIFINALS
All of the focus at the Copa del Rey is on tomorrow's quarterfinal clash between Barcelona and Real Madrid, but third-tier Mirandes served up quite the appetizer by springing a surprise on top-flight Espnayol and sending the club packing with a 2-1 defeat.
Cesar Fernandez de la Heras' stoppage-time header dramatically levelled the aggregate at 4-4, but because Mirandes tallied two goals in the opening leg at Espanyol, the club went through on away goals. Mirandes is the first third-tier club to reach the semifinals of the competition since 2002.
GHANA PERSEVERES IN ACN OPENER
John Mensah had a day of mixed results for Ghana, scoring the lone goal but getting sent off in the Black Stars' 1-0 victory over Botswana in their African Cup of Nations opener.
Mensah, Ghana's captain, tallied off a corner kick in the 25th minute but was sent off in the 66th with a straight red card for committing a hard foul, and he'll be suspended for the next two matches as a result. Playing down a man, Ghana held off a Botswana rally to persevere to the three points.
In the other ACN game of the day, Mali topped Guinea by a 1-0 scoreline through Bakaye Traore's first-half goal. Mali and Ghana are even atop Group D through one game.
What do you think of Chivas' signings? Think Cardiff City has any chance in the Carling Cup final? What'd you think of Del Piero's goal? Rooting for Mirandes to win it all in Spain? What's your take on the early ACN results?
Share your thoughts below.