Vagenas to lead Goats vs. former squad

Vagenas to lead Goats vs. former squad

Published Jul. 18, 2012 2:18 p.m. ET

They called him "Pasadena Pete."

Peter Vagenas has been a name in the Los Angeles area since his days at St. Francis High School in Pasadena. After winning a national championship at UCLA and starting his career with the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2000, he became a bit of icon.

Though the Galaxy's history is short, Vagenas is responsible for writing some of its highlights.

He's prepared to do it again, to go in and write the next chapter.

But Galaxy fans might not be as happy about it. When Vagenas signed as a free agent with the Goats this February, everyone knew it might be a bit – awkward.

Since signing, he has been adjusting to arriving back at the stadium he called home for so long, but with a new set of colors and new set of faces. Chivas fans have to remind themselves every game not to boo when he comes out on the pitch.

But what could really win them over?

Vagenas helping Chivas USA beat the Galaxy.

"Nobody is more motivated come Saturday night to beat the Galaxy, I could assure you that."

Vagenas knew it was time to come and settle in with his wife and children where they could be closer to family. And though coming back to the Home Depot Center and playing for the other guys might not have been how he imagined his homecoming, it's worked out so far.

If anybody could have convinced Vagenas to play for Chivas it would be head coach Robin Fraser and assistant coach Greg Vanney. They spent some time on the other side as well.

"Both were teammates of mine, both were older players that I looked up to going through the ranks," said Vagenas.

"The chance to play for Robin and Greg and what they were trying to do here and how they were trying to do it, is something that I believe in and something that I bought into wholeheartedly years ago and it is something that I am committed to."

Vagenas, Fraser and - well everyone really - knows that this rivalry has been traditionally rather lopsided. It's an issue they are trying not to remember going into this weekend.

"It's no secret that the Galaxy historically has had more success. But come Saturday night, and that's the beauty of sport, that doesn't mean anything."

Vagenas thinks the Galaxy will be ready to go this weekend. They will be looking for revenge from a previous loss to Chivas this year. And it will be a home game for the Galaxy.

But it is just as much Chivas' home too.