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Union deal Gabe Farfan to Chivas USA for 1st-round pick and allocation money

MLS, James Riley (7), Gabriel Farfan (15), Miller Bolanos (17)


Chivas USA has made some head-scratching trades before, but the one they made on Tuesday just might take the cake.

The Goats acquired midfielder Gabriel Farfan from the Philadelphia Union on Tuesday in exchange for their natural first-round pick in the 2014 MLS Draft and an undisclosed amount of allocation money.

The deal looks like a steal for the Union, who trade away a player who wasn’t a regular starter for them in exchange for a pick that could very easily wind up being a Top Five pick in a very strong 2014 draft. The allocation money is likely on the lower end of the scale, probably in the $75,000 range.

For Chivas USA, they acquire a versatile midfielder who spent most of his time in Philadelphia playing out of position at left back. The twin brother of Union midfielder Michael Farfan, Gabriel should be able to feature in a midfield role for the Goats, which should suit his attacking qualities better.

What do you think of the trade? Think the Union made out? Think MLS should step in and stop allowing Chivas USA to make trades? See Farfan breaking out as a quality midfielder?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. “in a very strong 2014 draft”
    lol isn’t that what they say every year?? Those picks are overrated you just have to be smart about your pics.. just look at Houston or even the LA Galaxy.

    • What you just said doesn’t make any sense. How can you say having more draft picks is overrated and in the same breath talk about how Houston and LA are successful because they are smart with their picks?

  2. Yup and the group below are a mixed bag, especially when considering that they’re the top 5. Also Philly’s two picks (Mwanga and MacMath) have been far from successful.

    2008: Chance Myers, Brek Shea, Tony Beltran, Sean Franklin, Ciaran O’Brien
    2009: Steve Zakuani, Sam Cronin, Omar Gonzalez, O’Brian White, Peri Marošević
    2010: Danny Mwanga, Tony Tchani, Ike Opara, Teal Bunbury, Zach Loyd
    2011: Omar Salgado, Darlington Nagbe, Perry Kitchen, Zarek Valentin, Zac MacMath
    2012: Andrew Wenger, Darren Mattocks, Kelyn Rowe, Luis Silva, Casey Townsend

    • A goalkeeper who is a starter at 20-21 isn’t a successful draft pick? Sorry but that’s a reach. I know some Union fans swear he’s terrible, but the fact is he’s young and developing, and better than he gets credit for being. When it’s all said and done, he’ll go down as one of the better players to come out of that draft.

      • He’s was made a starter by default and while I wouldn’t say he’s terrible, I would say that he doesn’t inspire any confidence. Last season he consistently made simple mistakes that directly resulted in goals. He’s shaken the giant-mistake-each-game habit, but he still has very poor distribution (even when under no pressure) and looks lost on balls in the air.

        “One of the better players to come out of the draft” is a bold prediction seeing as Perry Kitchen, Kofi Sarkodie, Jalil Anibaba, CJ Sapong and Will Bruin were in the same draft, but time will tell, no?

  3. Left-footed player with above average (maybe way above average) footskills, can beat players off the dribble, has good vision, makes good runs, plays tough (a little dirty). Played out of position in Philly but has showed plenty of promise. Should find a spot on the field for Chivas so not a bad deal for them.

  4. The chivas hate is getting out of hand. I get that they’re alienating a lot of non Mexican American fans but that’s their bed let them lie in it. If the club fails its the MLS overall that will look weak. That aside I thought it was a bad trade when I heard about it but Chelis isn’t stupid. Maybe he plans to use Farfan better than previously used and belives (wrongly) that a sure thing now is better than what he could find in next years draft.

    I saw Ives mock draft and it looked deep. Chivas even when they make the playoffs which they are on track to and even if they get out of the first round could land a top 15 pick who in years prior would be a top 5… Except the whole Mexican American thing, maybe the coach feels the Hispanic talent in the next draft would be a reach at top 15 so this kid here is a better move. Why not trade for a pick next year with DC or New England or someone who isn’t doing particularly well this season and who would use the draft the restock is beyond me.

    • First, how is Chivas on track to make the playoffs? They are in last place in the western conference. Second, after the Agudelo trade Chelis said he didn’t know the trade was happening so I don’t know how much input he actually has on roster decisions.

      • I should have said were on track. They did markedly better than most people expected at the beginning of the season.

        That agudelo trade made zero sense to me unless he was definitely leaving soon and felt they could get something for him now than losing him for free, similar to RBNY trading Dane Richards for nothing for half a season since they knew he wouldn’t agree to a reasonable (in their opinion) contract and was determined to give England a chance.

        Anytime the front office excludes the coach in personnel decisions its a mistake. But maybe there are other angles. We won’t be able to really tell until we see what the chivas rated prospects are available in the draft.

  5. actually this union fan would have been happy if both twins had been dealt. I just don’t see Marfan as being the future of that offense and the sooner we move on from that notion the better.

    • I’m not ready to give up yet, but every game that passes puts me closer to taking the “give up on Farfans” side. After two very promising years, they’ve both regressed a bit this season.

      That said, I can’t help but look at John Hackworth as I haven’t seen much improvement from any of the young-ish players (Williams, Farfans, Cruz, McInerney, Gaddis, MacMath, Okugo, even Daniel and Lahoud) beyond natural maturation that comes with being older and having more match experience.

  6. Chivas probably thought they were getting Michael.

    “Gabriel’s the good one, right?” – Chivas FO
    “Of course.” – Philly FO

  7. As a San Diegan I suggest the league remove the team from current ownership, move them to San Diego, rebrand them, and forget this mess ever happened.

    We’re getting our USMNT game this summer and you’ll see how many people show up at Qualcomm.

    • As a native San Diegan, agree 100%. Hope it happens, but only with new, decent ownership/management. Wouldn’t it be awesome to have a San Diego team play Xolos in friendlies? Also, I think there would be more of a rivalry with Galaxy than they have now. The women’s team drew well among the women’s franchises and the old indoor Sockers always drew well, no reason a good MLS team wouldn’t draw well.

  8. “Think MLS should step in and stop allowing Chivas USA to make trades?”

    Absolutely not.

    Don Garber made his bed with this club, now he can enjoy the fruits of their labor to kill the club and/or acquire anyone that has a Latin last name, regardless of talent.

    After all, Garber was a fan of the direction Chivas was going saying the league needed “something different”.

    Yea, Garber? You know what’s “different”? Not having a league holding down clubs that can afford to actually spend, and handcuffing everyone with “parity” that makes the league incredibly bland.

  9. Here we go again: What in the heck does “natural first-round pick”?

    So tired of the convoluted MLS terms and rules.

      • I’ve literally NEVER heard the term “natural first round pick” used in another sport.


      • It is a phrase that is not exclusive to MLS at all. It is used frequently in draft circles across professional sports.

        It simply refers to the original first round pick of the team in question, the pick that that team “naturally” has as a result of simply existing in the league. This is as opposed to any additional first round picks acquired through trades.

      • “It is a phrase that is not exclusive to MLS at all. It is used frequently in draft circles across professional sports.”

        Just saying it is, doesn’t make it so. Please, show some form of reference to support this and I’ll happily concede.

        It’s not used. Plain and simple.

  10. I’m going to be a bit sensationalist here, but…

    1. Dissolve Chivas USA at the end of 2013
    2. Weighted lottery to allocate all of the players owned by the league
    3. NY2 & Orlando City make an even 20 teams

    • -1. I’m actually quite intrigued by the new Chivas. They are playing better than I expected. And it really is like watching a LigaMX style team play in MLS. I think it’s good for the league. A fresh perspective on player evaluation from outside the MLS status quo is also healthy.

      • I agree with you g-dub. Chivas has outperformed expectations, and they’ve had some key injuries. I think the different approach will be good for the league over the long term. If they bring in a big latin DP and start utilizing their academy (which I’ve heard is doing well) i think they could start pulling in some fans. And bring in some talents that have been overlooked in the U.S. in the past and have found a home in Liga MX, i.e., Torres, Castillo, Corona, etc

      • The problem with that is assuming that any of those players would want to play for Chivas USA. Why would Torres, Castillo, or Corona want to play for a perennial loser and second fiddle in their city for less money than they are making now?

      • Anyone who actually thinks Chivas USA will last in MLS is dilusional. I want to see the unofficial time clock for their contraction begin.

      • you are not thinking about the big picture. mls needs eyeballs to watch on tv — if they can tap into the latino population (which is huge), that will go a long way in increaing the league’s viewing numbers. those numbers are crucial for the overall growth of the league.

      • As much as it shocks me to say this, I agree. The new Chivas has been growing on me and I want to see more.

      • They started out well, but are now in free fall. Portland absolutely dismantled them. I doubt they will make the playoffs (again).

  11. Looks like that will be a fairly high pick in next year’s draft… Is someone trying to kill this organization from the inside?


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