Carlos Bocanegra is now a Chivas USA player, following the Southern California outfit's trade with Toronto FC to the top spot in the allocation order. Chivas was all the way down in 15th place, so the price was steep. They'll give up a 2014 international slot to Toronto and their first round pick in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft.
Bocanegra is a southern California native and it wouldn't be surprising if he expressed a desire to move to either Chivas or the Galaxy prior to signing on with MLS. Chivas are in need of defensive help and should slot him into their starting XI immediately, but they need help at every position indiscriminately, so that's not saying much. The Goats sit on the bottom of the Western Conference table with 12 points from 16 games.
Here's what Bocanegra had to say about joining the team, in Spanish, of course.
"Estoy muy emocionado de unirme al club. Sé que va a ser un reto porque el club no ha tenido los mejores resultados en la cancha pero es algo a lo que tengo ganas de luchar. El club ha hecho que me siente muy bienvenido y se han esforzado mucho para traerme y fichar con el club así que voy a poder ayudar a darle la vuelta al equipo y ponerlo en buena dirección."
For those who don't read Spanish, he said, paraphrasing, that he's very excited to join the club. He knows it will be a challenge because Chivas has not had great results, but he'll have to work to change that. The club has worked hard to make him feel welcome and to sign him, so he hopes to turn them around and get them headed in the right direction.
On one hand, playing for Chivas USA probably isn't the best way to get onto Jurgen Klinsmann's radar. On the other hand, he's basically guaranteed to start every match that he's fit for. Not to mention the fact that he gets to come home and make what is presumably a very nice paycheck.
Still, it's tough to find a winner in this. Giving up a first round pick and an international slot for a 34-year-old defender who has struggled for fitness seems questionable, and Bocanegra's going to have trouble getting back in the national team picture playing for arguably the worst team in the league. It's possible that the only winners in this deal are Kevin Payne and Ryan Nelsen.