Ramírez set to return to Chivas USA
Ramon Ramírez's separation from Club Deportivo Chivas USA lasted all of one week.
After meeting with co-owner Antonio Cue in Guadalajara on Tuesday, Ramírez has decided to rejoin the team, Chivas USA head coach Thomas Rongen said.
"We obviously made the decision in the best interest of our club," Rongen said. "I must say Antonio Cue was very open-minded regarding this."
Rongen said Ramírez will likely play in Wednesday's friendly against Real Salt Lake at The Home Depot Center. Club officials declined to comment on the situation, but the club has scheduled a press conference for Wednesday.
Ramírez's status among the team and coaching staff has not diminished.
"I think obviously his reasons for leaving weren't because of the team," midfielder Francisco Gomez said. "I think he wanted to be here 100 percent. Him leaving, I think was more personal. He might consider the people he wanted to bring over here with visas family and I always say family comes first before business."
The fledgling club needs Ramírez's presence, Rongen said.
"He's an important player for the franchise, he's an important player for the team on and off the field," he said. "He recognizes he made a mistake and he's very remorseful and he's coming back with a very positive attitude."
Ramírez, 35, left the club prior to the Chivas USA's friendly match in San Diego against Mexican side Atlante. Reportedly, Ramírez grew frustrated with visa issues surrounding his nanny and gardener.
Rongen said the communication between Ramírez and the coaching staff was ongoing and that it was the coaching staff that helped persuade Cue to give Ramírez a second chance.
"Ramon has called several times. We've called him several times as well. We've kept the dialogue going," Rongen said. "He's called to see how the team was doing. We conveyed that to Antonio Cue and made him understand that Ramon really does care about this team. Antonio felt that he wanted to talk to Ramon personally to see if that was the case and that happened yesterday in Guadalajara."
Gomez, who has worn the captain's armband in Ramírez's absence, said there were never any problems with Ramírez's attitude as part of the club or the league.
"Since Day One, he's been easy to get along with," Gomez said. "He's a great leader, a great professional and someone that everyone looks up to. Having him back in the locker room is just a great addition."
Whether or not Ramírez will be captain again had not been decided as of Tuesday.
"That remains to be seen but I think that we'll internally talk about that," Rongen said. "He didn't leave for technical or tactical reasons or problems within the locker room. He left for some loyalty toward his own family and it was misinterpreted a little bit. I don't think the players or the coaching staff have an issue with him to remain the captain of this team."
Gomez said he would not a problem stepping aside for Ramírez.
"I respect him. I know he would do a good job. I would have no problem handing it to him," Gomez said.
Luis Bueno is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.