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Esky Speaks

Alecko Eskandarian is in New Jersey at the moment, enjoying the final weeks of what has been a busy offseason for him. But by the end of the month, he plans to be in Los Angeles as a member of Chivas USA -- his fourth club since the end of the 2006 season.

Esky says he will probably sign a new contract with MLS tonight, which would put the final touches on a deal that sends him from Real Salt Lake to Chivas for an allocation.

In his first comments since news of the trade broke, Esky told the Insider this evening that the trade had been in the works for a week or so.

"I feel great this time," he said of his switch to Chivas after playing four years with United and splitting time with Toronto and RSL last season. "The last two times [he was traded], I was totally blind-sided about it and it was hard to move to a new city and a new team. But this time around it's definitely better."

Out of contract, Esky had been training for a couple weeks with Standard Liege in Belgium. The club made him an offer, but he told officials that he wanted to head home and see where things stood with MLS. RSL, he said, made an offer to retain him (believed to be $125,000), but Chivas USA was willing to pay him more. So trade talks were initiated and Chivas acquired his rights this week.

"At this point for me, this is the right move," he said of staying in the States. "I want to accomplish more in MLS. I still have aspirations to go to Europe, but I really want to have a great season here and try to get back into the national team picture. In Europe, you just don't know about playing time and everything, so it probably would have been harder to get the national team's attention."

Esky is also happy about settling in Southern California, where many family members and a large Armenian community are based. "I might have a problem with getting everyone tickets," he said, laughing. "It's probably a good problem to have. It will be nice to be in L.A."

By Steve Goff  |  January 10, 2008; 5:25 PM ET
Categories:  MLS  
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Next: Mathis to Greece?


More than $125,000 doesn't seem like a very good bargain to me; hopefully he can prove me wrong.

Posted by: Edward | January 10, 2008 5:56 PM | Report abuse

last time I heard it wasn't too difficult to get Chivas USA tickets. I wish Alecko the best but I think Chivas is overpaying for him

Posted by: diego r. | January 10, 2008 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Chivas USA must be as tired of Razov as I am. I hope Esky can earn a starting spot next to Galindo up front.

Posted by: SSMD | January 10, 2008 6:02 PM | Report abuse

here's a link to the Insider's post last year "the woes of chivas usa"

"Chivas USA defender Lawson Vaughn says the guessing game starts during warm-ups about how low that day's attendance will be at the Home Depot Center in Carson."

Posted by: diego r. | January 10, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Esky will find playing time short at Chivas so that's not certain. Btw, Todd Durbin makes all pay decisions in mls so the chivas would pay more makes no sense. Todd sees players at certain levels and that's it regardless of which teams they play for. That's why the players get messed over in the league

Posted by: tex | January 10, 2008 6:07 PM | Report abuse

You never miss an opportunity to bash the single entity structure of the league do you? It has been said many times that the teams negotiate the salaries; it's their salary cap that takes the hit. Yes, the league pays all player wages...we know what. Just the other day it was said, twice, that even when selling a player to another (European) club that the team has final say. What exactly is your axe you keep grinding?


Posted by: EireBier | January 10, 2008 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Durbin is willing to go higher, but RSL didn't want to commit that much of their budget to Esky?

Regardless, he's taking a pretty clear headed approach to the decision, and I hope it works out well for him in LA.

Posted by: Eric in Baltimore | January 10, 2008 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Esky will have no problem getting tickets for people until Chivas play the Gals. This is Chivas USA we're talking about...they don't sell tickets.

Posted by: Bonji | January 10, 2008 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Esky will have no problem getting tickets for people until Chivas play the Gals. This is Chivas USA we're talking about...they don't sell tickets.

Posted by: Bonji | January 10, 2008 06:52 PM


Yes, but unlike their housemates they actually play decent soccer and win games.

Posted by: James in LA | January 10, 2008 7:13 PM | Report abuse

wow, they are giving up an allocation to get Esky?! That is fairly shocking. I hope he does well though. Chivas was my second favorite team last year.

Posted by: Glenn | January 10, 2008 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Glad to hear Esky is happy. It sounds like a great move for him. Having home games on that beautiful HDC field must be a relief after RSL and Rice-Eccles.

Posted by: FC | January 10, 2008 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Keep making fun of us, we're use it. Perhaps you know who we rent from? I hope Esky regains some better form or Preki will bounce his ass back to Jersey. I think we are reaching, but you never know. It's all about depth for us.

BTW, we actually host the MLS Cup this year not the Galaxy.

DC United v. LA Goats?

Posted by: EastLAChiva | January 11, 2008 1:45 AM | Report abuse

Esky = Moron

Posted by: More to Accomplish in MLS | January 11, 2008 8:06 AM | Report abuse

Man, not a lot of love for the 05 MLS final's MVP. I for one am still an Esky fan.

I think he's made a good decision. His logic, is right there in the article if you read it: odds are he'll see more playing time in MLS. If he can impress and make it back into the national picture he'll be looking to cash in with a much bigger paycheck in a move to Europe next year. He's taking the responsbility all on himself to make it big, and Chivas is a much better place to try to do that than either RSL or Toronto.

Good luck to you Esky!

Posted by: Matte | January 11, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

I'm with you Matte. I'm still a fan and hope he does well with Chivas, my favorite underdog team. But there are shades of Landon in the rejection of European offer.

He is seems a nice guy. Took time to chat and sign autographs with some of the girls on my team a while back at the soccerplex. So nice when egos are not overinflated. Best of luck!

Posted by: HS | January 11, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

I really like Esky, the guy. From my brief chance to chat to him and everything that I have read, he seems really down to earth and he keeps it real. I hope that his health keeps up and that he surpises folks this season. Personally, I think that I would have headed for Belgium but obviously, dude has thought it out.

I am pulling for the man.

Posted by: yankiboy | January 11, 2008 9:16 AM | Report abuse

I've always been a fan of Esky. Why wouldn't he have been a good recapture to replace Josh?

Posted by: Albert Hall | January 11, 2008 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Seems level-headed and driven, so best of luck esky, just don't score on us. And passing up on standard liege was probably a good idea as he probably wasn't going to start and we have the best doctors in the world here. One more year under a great coach in a great system to break the rust off and then go to celtic or someone like that. Good luck Esky. I'll never forget your '04 season and always hope for the best for you.

Posted by: DCAustinite | January 11, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Yup, I agree--I don't understand the Esky bashing. Great guy who hopefully can find his form again.

Good luck!

Posted by: viv | January 11, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Esky is a great guy. He made several appearances at community events he didn't have to go to and was always accessible by the fans. Great guy. I just wish that he had scored some goals for RSL other than the one penalty kick. I'll miss him, but not his lack of production for my team. Hopefully Chivas will be a better fit for his style of play. It will be good for him to go to a side that is confident from having success on the field....

Posted by: rslfanboy | January 11, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

I can only assume most of the people praising Esky did not watch him play 17 matches up front for RSL and not score a single goal from open play--as I did. This guy's a tasmanian devil with no end product, ever. It was maddening to watch him battle all over the field without winning a single ball and spray 10 shots at the goal without putting one on target.
I can't beleive a smart organization like Chivas was interested in this guy.

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