CARSON, Calif. – Chivas USA may not be part of the postseason, but forward Alejandro Moreno is making his mark on the proceedings while sitting at an analyst's desk.
Moreno served as a studio analyst for ESPN, alongside Max Bretos and Alexi Lalas for the conference semifinal matches earlier last weekend and will be providing more coverage as the playoffs unfold. The Venezuelan forward acquitted himself well during the experience, bringing his trademark honesty to the desk.
“I'd done some work for ESPN and ESPN Deportes promoting MLS Cup in past years and they've kept in touch, and I'd always thought about the possibility about doing some games for MLS," Moreno told MLSsoccer.com. "I got a phone call last week so that we could work out a time. I got permission from Chivas USA and we were able to work it out. It was a pretty positive experience.”
Moreno says that he'll be back behind the anchor desk this week for the second leg of the conference semifinal matchups, but will be with Venezuela for their World Cup qualifying games later this month against Colombia and Bolivia. The 32-year-old forward enjoyed a highly productive 2011 season for the Rojiblancos, making 24 appearances and scoring five goals, but admits that broadcasting may be in his future.
“It's something that I enjoy,” said Moreno. “I enjoy my time there because I get to see the games from a different perspective, and I comment on what I see on the field and the things that catch my attention. And even in the limited time that we have to analyze a game we try to make concise points that make sense for the people watching the games."
TRAINING CONTINUES FOR ROJIBLANCOS
The season may be over, but the work is not done for Chivas, who remain hard at work on the training ground. After the season ended two weeks ago, head coach Robin Fraser quickly resumed training as his players look to set a base for the 2012 preseason.
The Rojiblancos are expected to end training in mid-November.
“The focus now is all about next year. We can sit, mope and groan or we could be proactive and raise the bar,” said defender Michael Lahoud. “The bar needs to be raised, and that's what we're using that time to do. There's a lot of hard work going on right now.”
CORTEZ LOOKS FOR MORE NEXT SEASON
One of the players who is benefiting from the extended training is reserve Chris Cortez. A former Chivas youth product, the forward was signed on May 11 to provide depth to the club's attacking corps. In his first season with the Rojiblancos, Cortez made nine appearances with one start, showing glimpses of a target forward’s skill set due to his imposing 6-foot-4 frame and willingness to do the dirty work.
While Cortez found playing time difficult to come by at the tail end of the season, he continued to refine his skills on the Chivas reserves squad, which he led with five goals on the year.
Looking ahead to 2012, Cortez hopes to finally bring his scoring prowess from the reserve team to the first team.
“Getting on the score sheet is the biggest thing. I was able to do it pretty often in reserve games and [hope] to be able to transition it into the first team,” Cortez told MLSsoccer.com. “Also, getting more minutes and having a biggest part in the team is the goal. I just want to be in the mix always and be in the starting 11 or the 18 every week. ”
Adam Serrano covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org