American Exports: Juan Pablo Ocegueda rejoins Tigres after controversial stint with Chivas Guadalajara
GUADALAJARA, Mexico – Left back Juan Pablo Ocegueda has rejoined Liga MX outfit Tigres UANL after a controversial six-month stint on loan at Chivas Guadalajara.
The 20-year-old Riverside, Calif., native is currently preparing for the Clausura 2014 season with the Tigres first-team squad, as confirmed by the team's head coach Ricardo “Tuca” Ferretti in a Monday press conference.
Ocegueda had followed Dennis te Kloese to Chivas -- the former director of youth teams at Tigres was hired as sporting president at Chivas before recently leaving the club -- and the left back was a regular starter in helping Guadalajara's Under-20 side to the semifinals of the U-20 Apertura 2013 championship.
The move to Chivas caused controversy on both sides of the border because Ocegueda had been a regular in Tab Ramos’ US Under-20 national team through the World Cup in Turkey last summer. And Chivas Guadalajara, a club with a tradition of fielding only Mexican players, released a statement following the tournament claiming that the player would “reject future calls to the US national team, in line with preserving the strict tradition of the Rebaño Sagrado.”
While one American moved back to Tigres, former Tigres 'keeper and San Diego-area native Austin Guerrero has signed for second-tier Ascenso MX side Altamira. After getting minutes in the preseason, he could potentially make his debut on Friday against Necaxa.
Tom Marshall covers Americans playing in Latin America for MLSsoccer.com. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.