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July 11, 2013
Bocanegra set for Chivas USA debut in Philly; Torres could play, too

By Scott French
LA Soccer News Contributing Editor

Chivas USA hopes to unveil both of its big, new guns when it takes on the Philadelphia Union on Friday night to finish off a three-game road swing, but they'll need some administrative help to get that done.

Carlos Bocanegra is in camp, all his paperwork is good, and he figures to be in central defense when the Goats (3-10-5), coming off three successive draws (the last two on the road, against Dallas and Montreal), seek to end a 13-game MLS winless streak, just two off the club record set at the end of last season and the first game of 2013.

Whether Mexican striker Erick “Cubo” Torres, whose loan from mother club Guadalajara was announced Wednesday, will feature up top depends on whether his International Transfer Certificate has arrived. The Goats, obviously, hope so.

They've made four straight admirable performances, taken three points from those games, and, under new coach Jose Luis Real, have begun to alter their identity, from hapless to competitive, and the additions of Bocanegra and Torres could be enough to turn the whole thing around.

“Without a doubt, they're arriving as reinforcements,” Real said this week. “That means a lot, because they're players with known quality. What they've done: Bocanegra with an international career, regular with the U.S. national team, very important. Erick comes as a player that has done a lot of very important things even though he’s very young.”

Bocanegra, the former U.S. captain, who is hoping to get a further look from Jurgen Klinsmann now that he's getting games again, has already changed the perception the Union (7-6-6) have of the Goats.

“We know Carlos really well,” Philadelphia coach John Hackworth, a former U.S. assistant, told reporters this week. “It certainly makes them a lot better. He will bring instant leadership to that club and do a great job organizing the backline. My expectation is he will play, and that just makes it harder for us to break them down.”

This is a homecoming of sorts for Gabriel Farfan, the midfielder from Wildomar. He came to Chivas in mid-May after two-plus seasons with the Union, where his twin brother, Michael, still plays. The Farfans played together in club ball and for a couple of seasons at Cal State Fullerton, then reunited with Philly in 2011.

“I think it's funny,” Gabriel Farfan said. “I actually thought about it a couple days ago, and it's weird. I figured perhaps I had played against him at some point, but I realized it really will be my first official match against him. But it's no different than when we competed in intersquad games when I was here in Philly.

“Honestly, I think I will just see him as any other player. Obviously, we both have to be professional. Off the field he's my brother, but on the field he's an enemy.”

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