Francisco "Paco" Palencia moving to Los Angeles to focus on plan for Chivas USA
Francisco "Paco" Palencia is on his way back to LA.
That's what the former Mexican national team and Chivas USA star revealed to FutbolMLS.com in an exclusive Q&A following his formal unveiling on Wednesday.
Hired as director of soccer for Chivas — both Chivas de Guadalajara and Chivas USA — Palencia is moving to California with his primary focus at the start being Chivas USA.
“I’m very excited," Palencia said. "To start, I’ll be more focused on Chivas USA. When I played in MLS, I enjoyed it a lot. I’ve always said that MLS has a lot of quality and it has an important springboard to become one of the most important leagues in the Americas.
"For now, I’ll be supporting Chelís to make sure that the good results continue."
Palencia praised Chivas USA's 2013 start under José Luis “El Chelís” Sánchez Solá, calling him "a great motivator" and a very capable soccer man with "a good eye for players." He'll leave the on-field product to the manager and look to help in other ways.
“There are a couple of goals that are very clear," Palencia said. "For now, the priority in the US will be to increase attendance at the stadium — and we already have some projects in the works to reach that goal — and to support the team.
"The second [goal] is youth development," continued Palencia. "We want this to work the way it does in Mexico because I’m convinced that there is a lot of talent in MLS and those of us who have been in MLS know it. There is talent that we can polish, and we don't even have to go out and look for it."