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Sources: Benji Joya on trial with Rapids, has interest from other MLS teams, clubs abroad

BenjiJoyaChicagoFire2-SeattleSounders2014 (USATodaySports)

Photo by Mike Dinovo/USA Today Sports


Coming off a frustrating stint with the Chicago Fire in 2014, Benji Joya has found himself in soccer limbo.

With his contract out at Santos Laguna, the former U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team midfielder has been on the trial circuit, trying to earn an MLS contract for the upcoming season. Following a brief stint with the Seattle Sounders, Joya has joined up with the Colorado Rapids in the hopes of securing a roster spot.

Sources told SBI though that if the Rapids don’t offer the 21-year-old a contract, he has options else where. The sources said that there was interest from both the New England Revolution and D.C. United, as well as possible options in Colombia or Switzerland.

In the mean time, Joya is playing games for the Rapids. He featured in their 1-0 victory in the Desert Diamond Cup against FC Tucson, coming off the bench in the 64th minute.

Last season, Joya played just 12 times on loan with the Fire from Santos Laguna, scoring once. He also played five times for the Fire reserves, mostly during the second half of the season.

Joya was a big piece of the U.S. U-20s in 2013. Joya played nine times for the U-20s, scoring two goals and two assists, with one goal and two assists coming during the CONCACAF U-20 Championship in Mexico.

The San Jose, Calif. native is also in the running for the U.S. squad that could feature at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.


What do you think of this news? Do you see the Rapids signing Joya? Which team would be the best fit for Joya?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. i find this interesting because multiple reports said that many internal Fire people said he looked great in training and that it came down to the coach simply not liking him. which happens. i hope he can find a club that will give him a shot, assuming he really did look as good as those reports claim.

  2. Is Joya willing to play for Galaxy II or another USL team? If not, he may find himself riding the bench at a foreign club with a bias against Americans.

  3. Coming from SJ I always root for Joya to succeed. He a classic tweener, not fast enough for the wing, not savvy enough to make an impact at ACM. He plays with a lot of heart and has some fire in his belly…my two cents…he should put on a little upper body muscle and focus on a deeper distributing Dmid position. I hope he eventually finds his way back to SJ.

  4. This is part of that gap that Klinsmann talks about when he says MLS needs a U-23 league. I know people don’t agree with everything he say but he was right on this one. Joya was a key player in our U-20 team and losing talent like this will hurt.

  5. Hopefully all of MLS passes on him and he is forced to goto Europe and compete and hopefully develop … never seemed to find any rhythm last season in a very ordinary Fire midfield – if he was “all that” he shoud have been able to stand out – but he didn’t – he showed ordinary at best.

    • Did’nt really get the chance, Yallop gave up on him. The Fire was going nowhere and he should have had more time on the pitch. Saw him in Ariz. last year and he was one of the bright spots for the Fire.

    • I agree he is pretty ordinary; I’ve seen him for the past year and before that with the US youth teams. Maybe at youth level he is tactically quicker than his peers but those are against clueless guys. When you go against pros, they are going to be good as you if not better.

      He seems average in everything. There are so many guys who can do well in one thing or another but this guy is just average all around.

  6. He will make an impact as said in the article besides Colorado, two other MLS teams are intetested as well as interest from Switzerland and Colombia.

  7. In the running for 2016 Olympics and MLS sides don’t want him?

    That doesn’t make sense. He’s 21. If he can’t make an impact on an MLS roster at that age I don’t think he’s 2016 Olympic material.

    • From what I heard that coach, for some reason or another, didn’t rate him, despite him showing well in practice and being solid while playing for the first team. He was one of the better prospects on that U-20 team. I think he has a lot of potential and just needs more playing time to show it. I think Benji will prove the doubters wrong.

      • yup, that is what i read as well, Chris. there were multiple reports that he looked good but Yallop just didn’t like him.

    • MLS clubs/transfer philosophy is not about developing players.

      Joya has showed potential but he isn’t quite there yet professionally. He definitely needs more seasoning and MLS doesn’t appear to be interested in doing that as a league, club or coaching staff.


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