Mexican forwards Alejandro Nava and Moctezuma Serrato on trial with Fire
CHICAGO - In an effort to help strengthen an already revitalized roster and upon the departure of Jamaican international Damani Ralph, the Chicago Fire has invited a pair of forwards on trial from Mexican First Division clubs - former Club America standout Alejandro Nava and Tecos striker Moctezuma Serrato - to its training camp in Guadalajara, Mexico. Nava joined the Fire camp yesterday, while Serrato is set to arrive to the club's training camp in Central Mexico this afternoon. The duo is expected to participate for the Fire in its exhibition match tomorrow against a local All-Star Select squad, who replaces Mexican club giants Chivas on the Fire's preseason slate after the club cancelled its originally scheduled match against the "Men in Red."
Fire fans will be able to keep up with the "Men in Red" from Mexico, as WGBO-TV (Ch. 66) Univision-Chicago will be traveling to Guadalajara to cover the team during its stay south of the border. Details on the Fire's features on Univision will be available soon at www.Chicago-Fire.com.
Nava is no stranger to the "Men in Red," as the striker trained with the club last summer during a one-week trial in Lake Forest. Nava has played for some of the most famed clubs in Mexico's First Division, including powerhouse Club America (2002-2003), Chivas (1999-2000 and 2001), Atlante (2000-2001) and Jaguares (2003-2004). A native of Mexico City, Nava also has international experience, scoring three goals for Chivas in the 2000 edition of the prestigious Merconorte Cup. Fire fans remember Nava as the lone goal scorer in a friendly played between Chicago and Chivas on July 13, 2000 in a 1-0 victory for the Mexican side at Soldier Field.
The striker also played for Mexico's Under-23 National Team during Olympic Qualifying in 2000, scoring a goal in Mexico's 3-0 win over Panama on Apr. 25, 2000 in Hershey, PA. Nava, who emerged from Chivas' youth development program, also played for Mexico's U-20 side in the FIFA World Youth Championships in Nigeria in 1999.
Serrato has also spent time with some of the Mexican League's top clubs, as he began his career with Club America (2002) before joining San Luis (2003), Pumas (2003-2004) and, most recently, Tecos (2004), who the Fire will play in an exhibition contest this Thursday in Guadalajara. The 28-year-old striker's best campaign came in the 2004 COMEX Clausura (spring) season, when he scored three goals in eight appearances - all in a substitute role -in helping Pumas capture the season championship. Serrato has scored five goals across 24 games during his career in Mexico's top division.
The Chicago Fire will open the 2005 season on the road against FC Dallas on Saturday, Apr. 2 from the Cotton Bowl and at home at Soldier Field against the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday, Apr. 16 at 7:30 p.m. CT. Tickets to the Fire's home opener can be purchased through Ticketmaster by calling 312-559-1212 or visiting www.ticketmaster.com. Tickets can also be purchased at the Chicago Fire Offices, located at 980 N. Michigan, Suite 1998 in Chicago. To order season tickets or for group discount information, please call 1-888-MLS-FIRE.