CARSON, Calif. – Chivas USA players expect a team of reserves to take the field Wednesday night in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, for the exhibition match against sister club CD Guadalajara, but they’re not downplaying its importance.
“We have to perform and represent the league,” rookie midfielder Carlos Alvarez, who scored the dramatic equalizer in Sunday’s 1-1 draw with the LA Galaxy, told MLSsoccer.com. "At the end of the day, we have to represent our team – that’s the main thing."
With the first true road match of the MLS season set for this weekend in Chicago, manager José Luis “El Chelís” Sánchez Solá figures to go easy on many of his regulars.
“I’m sure it will be a different group out on the field in Juárez, but it’s great for both organizations,” goalkeeper Dan Kennedy said. “I’m sure a lot of the guys here know the players in Guadalajara, so it’s going to be a really good thing.”
Chivas USA officially have four players on loan from Guadalajara: forward Giovani Casillas (above, No. 14), midfielder Edgar “El Chore” Mejía (No. 8), forward Julio Morales and defender Mario de Luna. Defender Carlos Borja also has played for Guadalajara’s second-division squad.
Casillas is excited to see some familiar faces at Juárez’s Estadio Olimpico.
“I’m happy,” Casillas told MLSsoccer.com. “Again, it’s another opportunity for us to show well and continue to work. I’m happy that I’ll be able to see my friends again, but we’ll go out there to fight and win. It will serve as a chance for us to gel. We will try to play our style of soccer. It’s going to be great for them to show us their style, and for us to show them some of their own and a bit from here as well.”
Mejía, perhaps the most recognizable of the group, has started all three games for Chivas USA in his first MLS season. He, too, hopes the team turns in a solid effort.
“It’s a match that should benefit both teams,” Mejía said. “Of course, it’s an exhibition, but we must take it seriously.”
The match, which kicks off at 7 pm ET, will be played in benefit of EDUCARE, an education institute in Ciudad Juárez that aims to impact students and their families of violence-stricken communities.