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Chivas USA signs New Zealand tandem

Robin Fraser and his staff saw enough in one exhibition game to decide Simon Elliott and Andrew Boyens were decent fits. On Wednesday, Chivas USA signed the New Zealand national-teamers.

Elliott, a 36-year-old central midfielder who began his pro career with the Galaxy in 1999, impressed in the first half of Monday's 1-0 victory over San Jose. Boyens, a 27-year-old defender who has played for the New York Red Bulls and Toronto FC, did well in the middle and on the flank in the game. Both arrived on trial last weekend.

“They're good, experienced players, guys who have played a number of games in this league,” said Fraser, who played with Elliott with the Galaxy and Columbus Crew. “I think in a team that's building, it's good to have these experienced players.”

Both were part of New Zealand's team at the World Cup last year in South Africa, with Elliott playing a pivotal role as the All Whites tied all three of their matches and were the only unbeaten team in the tournament.

Elliott could get the starting job as the holding midfielder, especially if Fraser uses something similar to the 4-1-4-1 formation he trotted out against the Earthquakes. Elliott was the first 1 in the alignment, with Paulo Nagamura and Blair Gavin in front of him.

Boyens figures to battle Michael UmaƱa for a starting job in central defense next to Jimmy Conrad.