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Claudio Suarez signals Chivas USA departure
by Ridge Mahoney, March 9th, 2009 7AM

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[MLS] Chivas USA lost a preseason scrimmage Saturday and may have also lost veteran defender Claudio Suarez to retirement.

Suarez, who had not reported to preseason training while he contemplates his career, told the Futbol de Picante sports program over the weekend that he has decided to retire rather than accept the offer from Chivas USA. The club has issued no statement regarding the situation.

Chicago beat Chivas USA , 2-1, with goals by Justin Mapp and Brian McBride Saturday on a training field adjacent to Home Depot Center. Sacha Kljestan converted a penalty kick for Chivas USA after a foul on Maykel Galindo, who was making his first appearance in preseason competition after sitting out most of 2008 recovering from three sports hernia surgeries.

Suarez, who has pondered retirement at the end of the past two MLS seasons, turned 40 in December and despite his age still ranked among the better backliners in the league. Chivas USA may have serious defensive issues without Suarez; Swiss defensive midfielder Raphael Wicky, who signed with MLS last year but played only 138  minutes because of injuries, announced his retirement last week, and Bobby Burling is out for the next month because of sports hernia surgery.

Chivas USA plays its final preseason game against Houston Friday at HDC.



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