On Thursday, the Los Angeles Galaxy dealt longtime forward Alan Gordon to rivals Chivas USA, a seemingly odd move given the Galaxy’s potential dearth of forwards.
Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said the move was made in order to clear space on the roster for a potential player move.
“We want to be prepared if we’re going to make any additional moves this year to be able to do it,” Arena said Friday.
The Galaxy have been linked to several big-name players, but Arena refused to mention any player specifically by name.
“We’ve never addressed any rumors that at the time were rumors and not fact,” Arena said. “We’ve always been straightforward and honest. There are probably stories written every week on Landon [Donovan’s] transfer and we’ve been consistent saying he’s playing with the LA Galaxy and no one wants to listen to that. We’ve said that [David] Beckham is going to be playing here in LA and finish his career here and he will.”
Recently, Major League Soccer has seen an influx of high-profile players amidst a flurry of deals. Players such as Thierry Henry and Rafael Márquez (both New York), Nery Castillo (Chicago) and Álvaro Fernández (Seattle) have joined MLS while Freddie Ljungberg was traded from Seattle to Chicago.
While all those moves and others have involved Designated Players, Arena said he felt no pressure to jump on the DP bandwagon.
“We have two DPs. We’re not complaining,” Arena said. “If there is a possibility of doing a third that makes sense for our team, we certainly are going to entertain that.”
As far as potentially creating a hole at forward should a player not arrive soon or at all, Arena said he was not too concerned about such a scenario.
“We have a healthy team now with the return of [Mike] Magee … all of our other players have returned from injuries,” Arena said. “We’re as healthy as we’ve been all year and we can afford to play with one less senior roster player right now.”
With regards to Gordon, the move down the hall to Chivas was beneficial for the 28-year-old forward. Gordon was the longest-tenured player with the Galaxy, having been drafted in 2004 when Sigi Schmid was Galaxy coach. Gordon outlasted Schmid and three other head coaches but was deemed expendable in favor of a potential move.
That the club was able to accommodate Gordon and his personal situation while opening the door for an incoming player was a win-win for both sides.
“First of all, this is a good opportunity for Alan," Arena said. "He doesn’t need the move [to another city]. He’s got a wife who’s pregnant and he gets an opportunity to play more for Chivas.
"But we certainly didn’t do the move solely for Alan. It helps create a senior roster spot for our team. It helps create salary space and allows us to be prepared to make any kinds of moves we could possibly make either next week or up until Sept. 15.”