Eric Avila bids farewell to Chivas USA teammates, indicates Guadalajara move is imminent
CARSON, Calif. — Neither club made an official announcement, but midfielder Eric Avila bid farewell to several Chivas USA teammates Sunday following the intra-organizational scrimmage, an indication that he’s indeed headed to Guadalajara.
Sporting president Dennis te Kloese told MLSsoccer.com earlier in the week Ávila and 19-year-old attacking midfielder Giovani Casillas are likely to join Chivas, who were in town for their preseason training.
New head coach José Luis “El Güero” Real told reporters he didn’t know whether moves had been finalized.
“I don’t know yet,” Real said. “I’m going to meet with Dennis and [Chivas USA director of soccer] Paco Palencia to see what the situation is. … Right now, it’s not urgent for us to add anyone. We have time to make some decisions.”
Avila practiced with Guadalajara throughout the week, which he called a “great experience.” He also assisted Erick “El Cubo” Torres for the only goal in Guadalajara’s 1-0 victory Sunday.
“It’s something I really want,” Avila said. “I really appreciate the opportunity to practice with them and hopefully I can stay.
"I felt nervous at first, but my teammates made me feel comfortable. … Hopefully in the weeks to come I can get more settled in.”
Avila, 25, had a goal and two assists for Chivas USA this season, ranking third on the squad with 11 shots while playing in all 13 games. He was acquired from the Colorado Rapids in exchange for Nick LaBrocca in January.
“I’m very excited,” he enthused. “Guadalajara is a big team and just for me to practice with them is unbelievable. Luckily, they’ve given me a chance.
“I love my team here at Chivas USA, they’ve been a family to me. But luckily this opportunity came up, so we talked about it and decided to go forward with it. I’ll train with them [in Mexico] and see what happens.”