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Chivas USA signs pair of Californians, lets four other players go

February 14, 2013|By Kevin Baxter
  • James Riley is the eighth player from Chivas USA's roster last season to be sent away by the team.
James Riley is the eighth player from Chivas USA's roster last season… (Victor Decolongon / Getty…)

You have to give Chivas USA this much: at least the Major League Soccer team is consistent.

On Thursday morning, Chivas sent hard-working defender James Riley to D.C. United for a second-round pick in the league's 2015 -- that's right, 2015 -- supplemental draft. That made Riley the eighth player from last season's team with which Chivas has cut ties since November.

But apparently the team was just getting started because a few hours later the theme of out with the old and in with the new continued in a flurry of moves. The team declined to pick up contract options for midfielder Paolo Cardozo, forward Ryan Smith and defender John Valencia and also waived forward Cesar Romero.

In their place Chivas added Steve Purdy, a 28-year-old Salvadoran-American defender who spent the last two seasons with the Portland Timbers, and Carlos Borja, a 25-year-old Mexican-American defender from Anaheim who had formerly played both in the Chivas USA youth academy and with Chivas de Guadalajara's second-division squad.

Borja is exactly the kind of player Chivas USA will be looking to add under the new ownership of Mexican businessman Jorge Vergara, who also owns the Guadalajara team.

Chivas de Guadalajara has never used a player who wasn't eligible for Mexican citizenship and when Vergara took control of the MLS team last year, one of the reasons was it gave him a presence in the soccer hotbed of Southern California where his scouts could find and develop Mexican-American players for Vergara's teams on both sides of the border.

"I started my career here and it's always good to come back to a team with open arms and to a coach and staff that accepts you," said Borja, who played last season with the Fullerton-based L.A. Blues of the third-tier USL. "I've been a part of Chivas in Mexico, too, so I know the tradition, I know what it means to play for this club."

Purdy, from Bakersfield, started only three games for Portland last season but has played internationally for both El Salvador and the U.S.


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