WFC: Guadalajara hold off on U-17 WCup champs' debuts

SAN DIEGO — Guadalajara’s U-17 World Cup winning foursome of Carlos Fierro, Giovani Casillas, Luis Solorio and José Pablo Tostado will have to wait at least a few more days to make their first-team debuts.

With the stage set — a big match against Spanish powerhouse Real Madrid in the Herbalife World Football Challenge on Wednesday night at Qualcomm Stadium with a 38,110 pro-Chivas crowd in attendance — and the group of youth Mexico internationals on the bench raring to go against Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaká & Co., Chivas manager José Luis Real decided not to get the youngsters off on their professional careers.

“The decision [to debut them] won’t depend on whether it’s a special game, on just because we have them [among our ranks],” said Real following a 3-0 defeat to Real Madrid.

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The quartet of world champions, who looked lively in training on Monday and Tuesday, had held out hope that at least one of them would make play their first game with the senior squad after Real’s comments on Tuesday that they would be on the bench and had as likely a chance as any of the subs to make an appearance.

Despite not getting their chance on Wednesday, the youngsters could get their highly anticipated debut when Guadalajara kick off their Primera División campaign against Atlante on Saturday.

“For next Saturday, in the game against Atlante, it’s possible that one of them — at least one of them — will have the chance to debut,” Real told reporters on Tuesday as the team prepared for their match on Wednesday.

Chivas, who have been more and more keen on developing talent from within in recent years, like to bring their youth players along slowly, as was the case with Javier “Chicharito” Hernández, a player now making a huge impact for Manchester United and the Mexican national team.

Chicharito made his first-team debut at the age of 18 and played just 78 minutes in five matches as a sub that season. He would play 16 games over five Primera División tournaments before getting his first league start.

If Guadalajara follow the same approach with this new batch of talent, Real says it’s because they want what’s best for the youngsters and the club.

“We have to wait until the moment is right for them, when it’s best for the club, not when it’s to live up to the expectation,” he said. “In this case, we’re the party most interested in them having that opportunity. And they’ll get it.”