The MLS roster-freeze deadline came and went on Monday afternoon, and Chivas USA wound up being the biggest mover and shaker.
The Goats swooped to bolster their injury-ridden squad with a pair of veteran midfielders -- Sasha Victorine and Brazilian Dejair join the Los Angeles-based club as it prepares to make a run into the playoffs.
"As we enter the last six weeks of the season, we are pleased to be adding some additional depth to our midfield in the face of injury and international call-ups," said head coach Preki in a statement released by the club. "We hope both Sasha and Dejair will make important contributions to Chivas USA as we continue our push toward the playoffs."
Victorine, a nine-year MLS veteran, comes from the Kansas City Wizards in return for allocation money. The California native is expected in Southern California on Tuesday and could debut againist Real Salt Lake this weekend.
The 30-year-old started his MLS career with the L.A. Galaxy, having been drafted upon graduation from UCLA. In his five years with Chivas USA's stadium rivals, Victorine won a U.S. Open Cup (2001), CONCACAF Champions Cup ('01), Supporters Shield ('02) and MLS Cup ('02). Chivas fans will be pleased if he duplicates that success.
Dejair has no MLS experience, but is a year older than Victorine at 31. He comes from Brazilian club ABC FC of Natal, and has 12 years of know-how from the Brazilian lower divisions. He spent time in the Botafogo youth system, and most recently helped ABC win the '08 Rio Grande do Norte state championship. He takes up one of Chivas' international spots.
Preki has, of late, been forced to play winger-cum-left back Francisco Mendoza in a central midfield role as assistant captain Jesse Marsch (jaw), talisman Sacha Kljestan (international duty; suspension) and Raphael Wicky (reconstructive ankle surgery) have been unavailable. Kljestan is back this weekend, but Victorine and Dejair should offer valuable depth.
In order to free up roster space for the acquisitions, Chivas has added Wicky, Lawson Vaughn and Eric Ebert to the club's season-ending injury list. Vaughn, like Wicky, is struggling with an ankle injury and is expected to undergo surgery shortly. Ebert has a lateral meniscus tear in his right knee.