In two games against LD Alajuelense in this year's CONCACAF Champions League group stage, the LA Galaxy gained respect for a tough Central American opponent. They also gained a player.
Marcelo Sarvas will join the Galaxy from the Costa Rican club, head coach Bruce Arena said on Monday. The 30-year-old Brazilian will help bolster LA in 2012 as they will look to repeat as MLS Cup and Supporters’ Shield champions.
“He’s played against us twice this year, so we know the player," Arena told reporters during a conference call on Monday. "He’s a good player. He’s a good passer and is an experienced two-way midfielder. I think he’s going to be a good addition.”
Sarvas has played for several clubs prior to arriving in Costa Rica. He spent time with four different Swedish clubs from 2004-08 before moving to Polonia Warsaw for a spell.
A native of São Paulo, Sarvas came up through the youth ranks of Brazilian powerhouse SC Corinthians Paulista. He was also an integral part of Alajuelense’s Verano 2011 title-winning side after joining the Costa Rican side in 2010.
Whether Sarvas plays alongside his countryman in the Galaxy midfield remains to be seen. Juninho’s loan deal from São Paulo FC runs out at the end of the year and Arena said an offer has been made to keep him around.
“Juninho has an offer,” Arena said. “[He] knows where we stand, his club knows that, his agent knows that so they’ve just got to make a decision as to what they want to do.”
The Galaxy also bolstered their roster in Monday's Stage 2 of the Re-Entry Draft, selecting four veterans in defenders Andy Boyens and Chris Leitch, forward Pat Noonan and goalkeeper Jon Conway. They also retained the rights of Frankie Hejduk and Dasan Robinson.
GALLERY: Marcelo Sarvas in CCL action
Luis Bueno covers the LA Galaxy for MLSsoccer.com and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.