February 23, 2007 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Club Deportivo Chivas USA
CARSON, Calif. (Friday, February 23, 2007) - Chivas USA today announced that it has signed 30-year-old Romanian defender Alex Zotinca, two days after acquiring his rights in a trade with the Kansas City Wizards. In exchange, Chivas USA sent a conditional 2008 SuperDraft pick to the Wizards. Zotinca, who can play right back or right midfield, holds a U.S. greencard and does not count as a foreign player for MLS roster purposes.
Born on January 22, 1977 in the city of Sibiu, in central Romania, Zotinca began his career with his hometown team, FC Inter Sibiu, where he played from 1995 to 1998, before moving to Romanian powerhouse Steaua Bucharest, where from 1998-2000 Zotinca played in the UEFA Cup (1999) and helped the team claim the 1999 Romanian Cup.
In 2000, Zotinca won a greencard in an immigration lottery, and moved to the United States, where he would play four years with the Kansas City Comets (2000-2003) of the Major Indoor Soccer League, before being signed by the Kansas City Wizards in 2003. In four seasons with the Wizards (2003-2006), he would play in 85 regular-season games (62 starts), logging 5,382 minutes and recording 3 goals and 2 assists. He also played 6 playoff games for the Wizards (5 starts), logging 441 minutes and recording 1 assist.
In other news, Chivas USA announced that it has re-signed defensive midfielder Jesse Marsch and left back Orlando Pérez.
Marsch, 33, joined Chivas USA last year from the Chicago Fire and went on to play a key role in central midfield for the Red-and-White in 2006, starting 32 playoff and regular-season games, logging 2,784 minutes and recording 2 goals and 3 assists. The Racine, Wisconsin native and Princeton grad is - alongside Chivas USA teammate Ante Razov - one of a select group of 'MLS Originals', who have played in the league since 1996.
Pérez, 29, is himself a Chivas USA Original, having been selected by Chivas USA in the second round of the 2005 MLS Expansion Draft from the Chicago Fire. In two seasons with the Red-and-White (2005-2006), the Fontana, California native played 50 regular-season games for Chivas USA (35 starts), logging 3,243 minutes and recording 3 assists. Last season (2006), Pérez played in 23 games for Chivas USA (11 starts), logging 1,173 minutes.