Riverside's Sammy Ochoa could be coming home after five years in Mexico. The 24-year-old forward signed with Major League Soccer on Wednesday, if Chivas USA wants him, he's theirs.
Ochoa (Riverside Poly HS), who saw spotty action since signing in 2006 for Mexican Primera Division club Estudiantes Tecos, will be will be distributed into MLS via allocation by Friday. Chivas sits atop the league's allocation table, based on last season's results, and has right of first refusal.
The Goats already have passed on midfielders Benny Feilhaber and Freddy Adu, but Ochoa's contract ought to be easier to work into the club's budget, though there are no details on the contract.
Chivas climbed atop the table after Vancouver (Jay DeMerit), Portland (Kenny Cooper) and D.C. United (Charlie Davies) acquired players through allocation.
Ochoa scored two goals in 27 league appearances with Tecos, never wresting a first-team job with the club from suburban Guadalajara. He was on trial with the Seattle Sounders in early June and scored in an MLS Reserve League game against the Galaxy.
Ochoa played for Seattle coach Sigi Schmid at the 2005 FIFA U-20 World Cup and played for the U.S. under-23 team during the buildup to the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Ochoa's older brother Jesus spent time on the Galaxy's and Chivas' rosters, and his younger brother, Norberto, was with the Goats during preseason.
UPDATE (10:20 p.m.): We asked Chivas head coach Robin Fraser after Wednesday night's loss to Portland about Ochoa. “We have to discuss that,” he said. “It all came about on the day of the game, and we haven't spent a great deal of time talking about it yet. It's an interesting option we will look at.”