ANAHEIM, Calif. - Talented 23-year-old winger Arturo Torres became the first player in the history of Club Deportivo Chivas USA upon being picked by the Mexican-owned soccer franchise on Friday in Major League Soccer's Expansion Draft, which took place at the ESPN Zone in Anaheim, California.
"We came into this draft with a very clear idea of what sort of team we wanted to put together, and I can say that we're very proud that we got Arturo and all the other players we wanted. This was a great day for Chivas USA," said Antonio Cué, President of Club Deportivo Chivas USA.
"I am thrilled at the chance to join a great institution like Chivas USA. It's an honor, not just for me but for my family. We have Chivas fans in all of the family. It's great to be playing for a team that comes from the homeland of my parents. I can't wait for it to start," said Torres, a former player from the Los Angeles Galaxy.
Starting with Torres, one by one the first ten players of Los Angeles' new MLS franchise were chosen, including Mexican-Americans Francisco Gómez and Orlando Pérez, Guadalajara native Antonio de la Torre, Caribbean internationals Ezra Hendrickson and Craig Ziadie, Brazilian Thiago Martins, and promising young American players Matt Taylor, Jamil Walker and Jeff Stewart.
"Our brand is Mexican. Our fans are Mexican. The majority of our players are Mexican. It only makes sense for us to continue along those lines. We've also been able to get what I think are the best players in the draft regardless of where they came from," said Chivas USA Head Coach Thomas Rongen.
"This is a proud day for our young franchise, as Chivas USA's team begins to take shape. Our picks in this draft have shown that Chivas USA will be a symbol of pride not only for all Chivas fans, but for all those who enjoy an exciting, passionate brand of soccer," said Whit Haskel, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Club Deportivo Chivas USA.
Friday's Draft was televised live by ESPNEWS and was conducted via teleconference between the principals of Chivas USA in Anaheim, the front office of Real Salt Lake in Utah, and MLS officials in New York, where picks were officially announced by league Commissioner Don Garber. Participating in the deliberations in Chivas USA's "War Room" in Anaheim were Antonio Cué, Thomas Rongen and Whit Haskel, along with CEO Javier León, Director of Soccer Dennis te Kloese, Soccer Development Manager Eduardo Creel, and Chivas USA's guest of honor from Jalisco, Ivar Sisniega, President of Club Deportivo Guadalajara.