LA MIRADA, Calif. - Juan Pablo García made his much-anticipated debut with Chivas USA, playing 90 minutes in the Red-and-White's 3-2 victory over the Southern California Seahorses of the Premier Development League in an exhibition match held before nearly 1,000 fans at La Mirada High School in Los Angeles County.
García, who wore the number 44 and played as an attacking midfielder, set up forward Thiago Martins in the 17th minute to give Chivas USA a 1-0 lead going into halftime of the match, in which Head Coach Hans Westerhof fielded a squad that had seen little activity the night before in the team's 1-0 win over the New England Revolution.
The Seahorses would respond in the second half with goals by Evan Corey and Dylan Martínez in the 61st and 86th minutes, respectively, but the hosts were unable to overcome their MLS opponents, who added goals through recent developmental signing Rodrigo López in the 67th minute and forward Christian Jiménez in the 71st.
García, who is currently awaiting the finalization of his paperwork in order to make his Chivas USA debut, told The Orange County Register than he could play his first MLS regular season even sooner than expected.
"I trained hard this week, and I'll have a great opportunity Aug. 10 against the Galaxy to show more great futbol," said the 23-year-old Guadalajara native.
Entering this weekend's All-Star break, Chivas USA (3-14-3) is currently in last place in the Western Conference, four points behind expansion brethren Real Salt Lake and nine points out of the conference's final playoff spot, currently occupied by the Colorado Rapids.
Following a four-day break, the team will resume training this Thursday at The Home Depot Center ahead of its Fourth Round U.S. Open Cup tie against the Los Angeles Galaxy, to be played on Wednesday, August 3 at 7:30 p.m. at the Track and Field Stadium. For information on tickets, which are available for just $10 General Admission, please call 1-877-CHIVAS-1.
Southern California Seahorses (PDL) 2-3 Chivas USA (MLS)
Saturday, July 23, 2005 - 7:00 p.m. PT
La Mirada High School - La Mirada, California
CHV - Thiago Martins (Juan Pablo García) 17
SCA - Evan Corey (Jordan Arias) 61
CHV - Rodrigo López (Jesús Flores) 67
CHV - Christian Jiménez (Dru Hoshimya) 71
SCA - Dylan Martínez (Anthony Stovall) 86
CHIVAS USA LINEUP:
Javier Barragán (Shaun Kalnasy 76) - Trevor Perssons (Dru Hoshimiya 67), Aarón López, Esteban Arias - Wout Westerhof, Milton Blanco, Mike Muñoz, Juan Pablo García - Christian Jiménez, Thiago Martins (Jesús Flores 67), Rodrigo López.
Subs not used: None