Originally posted on Total MLS  |  Last updated 5/17/12

In what was a hectic and somewhat unexpected start to a Thursday morning, Chivas USA surprised many by pulling off some inspired trade dealings today. As per league and team policy, details of contracts will not be revealed, however, what we do know is the that Danny Califf of the Philadelphia Union and Juan Agudelo of New York Red Bulls are now on their way to Chivas USA. The Philadelphia Union has allowed defender Danny Califf to leave in return for Chivas midfielder Michael Lahoud while New York Red Bulls have accepted Heath Pearce in place of forward Agudelo. Both trades will also involve allocation money. Rumors of trades have been circulating for a few days now with many speculating as to whom Chivas USA were willing to let go in place of the potential reinforcements. However, after players and officials from both sides began tweeting about their impending moves, it seemed that the Rojiblancos were about to make some not only unexpected but exciting trades.

The rumor of the Danny Califf trade has been widely publicized for a while now, with both camps handling the speculation of a possible move in completely different ways. But today it has been confirmed that the defender will indeed be joining Chivas USA in a trade for Lahoud and allocation money. Earlier in the week, Union coach Nowak had ‘confirmed’ that Danny Califf would be on his way back to his native California to join The Goats in a trade involving a Chivas USA player and perhaps ‘something else’. Although confirming a trade was possible, Nowak’s announcement was regarded as premature from Chivas USA boss Robin Fraser and General Manager Jose Domene as it was not yet finalized. With defensive cover needed, especially after the Pearce/Agudelo trade it is clear Fraser felt there was enough depth in the midfield to allow Lahoud to leave after 39 appearances and two seasons with the club.

The speculation over Chivas USA’s trading also included talk of Robin Fraser hoping to add more firepower to his struggling strike force. This was confirmed this morning when Chivas USA announced that they had also acquired Juan Agudelo, 19, from New York Red Bulls in return for defender Heath Pearce and allocation money. Agudelo , a promising young forward, had reportedly been open to a move away from the Red Bulls, in order to get more playing time, and has apparently had his wish granted. New York, who have attackers such as Thierry Henry and Kenny Cooper on their books, were seemingly in need of more defensive cover and have landed the versatile US International Pearce, 27, in return. On the other hand, in desperate need of more goals, Robin Fraser has had to sacrifice a vital part of his defense in order to improve his squad. Despite losing a key defender, Chivas USA now have cover here with Califf, and fans are already excited at the prospect of seeing Agudelo in the Red and White.

It has been a busy day for Chivas USA, but as the news broke I immediately felt that this was a great move by the men in charge. The acquisition of Juan Agudelo and Danny Califf will undoubtedly make The Goats a stronger, more dangerous side. Agudelo, in particular, is the more exciting of the two signings simply because he has a very promising future ahead of him and could be the answer to our goal scoring problems. The feeling so far, on Twitter at least, is that many Red Bull fans are sad to see him go and felt he was a valuable member of their squad. Losing a player like Heath Pearce as a result is one I have mixed feelings about. Pearce was one of the first names on the team-sheet in defense and was a reliable player to have. Nevertheless, this is an area where Chivas USA now have good options. McKenzie and Valencia, who arrived in preseason, have acquitted themselves well when called upon and with Califf added to the fray, Pearce leaving is not a huge loss. In acquiring Califf, however, we have had to part with midfielder Michael Lahoud. A fans favorite, Lahoud has been missing for most of the season through injury but after a terrific pre-season his full return to action was eagerly anticipated. Unfortunately, though, this will not happen and the Union now has a player who will not only give everything for the cause but will surely win over the fans as well.

With the LA Galaxy game on the horizon, Chivas USA, when confirming the trades, have stated that both new players will be available for selection on Saturday.

(image courtesy of Getty Images)

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