CD Chivas USA players train in Mexico
ZAPOPAN, Jalisco, México - The coaching
staff and six U.S.-based players of Club Deportivo Chivas USA embarked
Monday on the young squad's first trip to Mexico, where until December
19 they will spend two weeks of education, group work and training
alongside several of the Mexican-based players who are join Club
Deportivo Chivas USA.
The trip gives Head Coach Thomas Rongen and assistant Javier "Zully"
Ledesma a chance to lay the foundations of physical fitness and teamwork
that are to underlie the team's inaugural Major League Soccer campaign
starting in April 2005.
Departing on Monday morning from Southern California, the group composed
of Rongen, Ledesma, Director of Soccer Dennis te Kloese, MLS veterans
Antonio de la Torre, Francisco Gómez, Orlando Pérez, Matt Taylor, Arturo
Torres and Jamil Walker and Equipment Manager Raúl Guerrero received
well-wishes from Chivas and non-Chivas fans alike at Los Angeles
International Airport, before boarding the three-hour flight to
Upon arrival in the city known as "the Pearl of Jalisco," the group was
met by Hans Westerhoff, Club Deportivo Guadalajara's Director of
Football. They were then transported to their hotel in the Avenida
Vallarta in the western suburb of Zapopan, for an evening of rest before
They next day at Club Deportivo Guadalajara's lush Verde Valle campus,
players and coaching staff were met by the club's President Ivar
Sisniega, who in a brief speech in both Spanish and English expressed to
Mexican- and American-based players alike his belief in Club Deportivo
Chivas USA and his expectation that all the team's players would come to
master the languages of both Cervantes and Shakespeare.
The morning's two-hour training session, conducted by Rongen, Ledesma
and Westerhoff, focused on ball possession and physical conditioning.
Present alongside the six MLS veterans were Mexican players Omar Aguayo,
Jorge Barrera, Armando Bejines, Edwin Borboa, Sergio García, Alfonso
Loera, Jonny Magallón, Manolo Martínez, Francisco Mendoza, Ramón
Ramírez, Isaac Romo, Hugo Rivera, Alonso Sandoval y Martín Zúñiga as
well as several dozen members of the local, national and foreign press.
On Tuesday evening, the players were to attend a reception and press
conference with Chivas USA owner Jorge Vergara at the site of the New
Stadium that is to be built for Club Deportivo Guadalajara on the
western edge of Zapopan. Wednesday it's back to work, as two-a-day
sessions begin at Verde Valle, with training scheduled for 11 a.m. and 4
p.m. local (Central) time.