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American Exports: Padilla called back to Guadalajara

GUADALAJARA, Mexico – Former Chivas USA striker Jesús Padilla is getting a second chance with Chivas de Guadalajara.

The 25-year-old San Jose, Calif., native had been on loan at La Piedad in the second-division Liga de Ascenso, but new Guadalajara coach John van ’t Schip has called Padilla and two other loanees back in to see if they can win a place at the club for the coming season.

Padilla met up with the rest of the squad at the first preseason session on Friday, with the club in the midst of restructuring following the appointment of advisor Johan Cruyff and the subsequent hiring of van ’t Schip. Padilla joined Chivas USA on loan from Guadalajara in 2009 and scored seven goals in 37 appearances for the club. He had a mixed time at La Piedad, grabbing seven goals in 28 appearances.

He is perhaps best known for the revelation that he was born in California, and not in San Miguel el Alto, Jalisco, as it still states on the Mexican federation’s website. That forced Chivas to redefine their “all-Mexican” policy to include all players of Mexican citizenship, regardless of whether they were born elsewhere. Previously, the club had stated that only players born in Mexico could wear the red-and-white stripes.

Padilla rejoins fellow Northern Californian Miguel Ángel Ponce at the club, although Ponce is currently in Europe preparing for the Olympics with the Mexican team.  

Tom Marshall covers Americans playing in Latin America. E-mail him at tom.marshall.mex@gmail.com.