By DAN ITEL AND DAN KARELL
MLS continued to put its mark on Chivas USA, which it purchased last week from former owners Jorge Vergara and Angelica Fuentes, with the announcement Wednesday that former league executive Nelson Rodriguez is the club’s new president.
Rodriguez recently served as the league’s executive vice president of competition, technical and game operations and was the public face of the Disciplinary Committee after it was created in 2012. He stepped down from the position in January after 14 years in the league office.
“I am thankful for the opportunity and recognize the responsibility in what is an important season for the club,” Rodriguez said in a statement. “Regardless of the ownership status, this team and staff will compete on all fronts and we look forward to the challenge.”
MLS will operate Chivas USA during the 2014 season and expects a new ownership group to be finalized before the 2015 season.
Here are some more stories to catch you up around MLS:
FOUR MLS PLAYERS TO REPRESENT HONDURAS VS. VENEZUELA
Current and former Major League Soccer players will be well represented in Honduras’ latest squad.
Four current MLS players are included in Luis Fernando Suarez’s 23-man squad for a friendly match against Venezuela next Wednesday. Representing the league will be Oscar Boniek Garcia of the Houston Dynamo, Jerry Bengtson of the New England Revolution, Victor Bernardez of the San Jose Earthquakes, and Marvin Chavez of the Colorado Rapids.
Anderlecht’s Andy Najar and Wigan Athletic’s Roger Espinoza were also included in the squad, who are preparing for their second straight World Cup appearance.
The match is set to take place on March 5 in the Estadio Olimpico in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.
BLAKE, BROWN, MATTOCKS AMONG CALL-UPS TO JAMAICAN NATIONAL TEAM
First overall draft pick Andre Blake will be joining the Jamaica National Team uniform before making his professional debut.
The Philadelphia Union goalkeeper was among six MLS players called into the Jamaican squad for a pair of friendly matches against Barbados on March 2 and Saint Lucia on March 5. Accompanying Blake from MLS is the Colorado Rapids’, the Portland Timbers’ Alvas Powell, Darren Mattocks of the Vancouver Whitecaps, FC Dallas’ Je-Vaughn Watson, and D.C. United Homegrown Signing Michael Seaton.
Blake has made the bench on three occasions for Jamaica, but he has yet to take the field in a senior international match. However, with regular starting goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts not in the squad, Blake’s chances of starting have grown.
‘CAPS’ BEITASHOUR TO JOIN IRAN FOR ASIAN CUP QUALIFIER, FRIENDLY
New Vancouver Whitecaps defender Steven Beitashour has been called up by Iran for an Asian Cup qualifier March 3 against Kuwait and a friendly two days later against Guinea.
The 27-year-old former San Jose fullback is expected to leave Whitecaps camp, which has transitioned to Portland, Ore., for the Rose City Invitational, on Wednesday. The California-born Beitashour, whose parents are both Iranian, made his debut with Carlos Queiroz’s group last fall and has received three caps since. He made his first start and recorded his first assist for Team Melli in a 3-0 win over Thailand that ensured their qualification to the 2015 AFC Asian Cup.
The March 3 qualifier will be played at Enghelab Stadium in Karaj, Iran, while the friendly is set to be played in Tehran.
REVOLUTION SIGN 2013 DRAFT PICK SANCHEZ
The New England Revolution took their roster total to 26 on Wednesday with the signing of Jossimar Sanchez.
After being selected in the first round of the 2013 MLS Supplemental Draft (fourth overall), Sanchez spent the season rehabbing an injury suffered in his senior season at UConn, before returning to full fitness and training with the Revolution late last season and this preseason.
“Jossimar is a young player who will provide depth for us,” Revolution general manager Michael Burns said in a statement. “He worked hard to return to full fitness after his injury in college, so we’re pleased he’s earned a spot on our roster this year.”
Sanchez, a defender, made 73 starts in 74 appearances in four seasons with UConn, earning First-Team All Big East honors in 2012. Sanchez played central midfield and centerback in college but has played outside back for the Revolution during the preseason.
What do you think of this news? Think that Rodriguez is the right choice for President? Do you see MLS players starting in their internationals despite not having match fitness?
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