Players from Club Deportivo Chivas USA and several of their Mexican-based teammates were on hand at Club Deportivo Guadalajara's Verde Valle campus Wednesday for the club's first-ever day of two-a-day training sessions. In the morning session, coaches Thomas Rongen, Javier "Zully" Ledesma and Hans Westerhoff continued to put players through the paces in possession games and finishing drills. The early session finished with a half-field, seven-on-seven inter-squad scrimmage with two goalkeepers. A second training was planned for 4 p.m. the same afternoon, a pattern that will continue during the remainder of the team's two-week stay in the heartland of Chivas. However, the team will also take some afternoons off to participate in Spanish and English classes, yoga sessions, and educational tours of Guadalajara.
WALKER JOINS TEAMMATES: Twenty-three-year-old striker Jamil Walker trained with his new teammates for the first time Wednesday morning. The former San Jose Earthquakes player sat out Tuesday's morning session while nursing a head injury suffered over the weekend in Los Angeles. Walker's training debut leaves Brazilian marksman Thiago Martins (currently rehabilitating a knee injury in Sao Paulo) Saint Vincent and the Grenadines captain Ezra Hendrickson (preparing for Caribbean Gold Cup qualifying with his national side) and fullback Craig Ziadie as the only players chosen in the MLS Expansion Draft who have yet to train with Chivas USA. All three will be absent from the squad's current trip to Guadalajara.
PLAYERS ATTEND PRESS RECEPTION FOR NEW CHIVAS STADIUM: Players were invited Tuesday evening to an gala event publicizing Chivas' New Stadium in Zapopan, on the western edge of Guadalajara. There, the six MLS vets had the chance to meet personally with Jorge Vergara Madrigal, owner of Grupo Omnilife, Club Deportivo Guadalajara and Chivas USA, and to check out an immense scale model of the stadium's grounds. Nicknamed the "Tempo Mayor," after the central temple in the old Aztec capital, the stadium -- to be built along with a museum, a school, parking structures, offices for Grupo Omnilife among other buildings -- is set to be ready by late 2006.
PUMAS, RAYADOS, AND OFF TO BED: After finishing the second training session Wednesday, the players from MLS were to meet in the Hotel Arboledas Galerías in Avenida Vallarta to watch the first leg of the 2004 Final of Mexico's 2004 Apertura tournament between the Pumas of Mexico City's Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México led by former MLS player Hugo Sánchez Márquez and the Rayados of Monterrey at 8:30 p.m. local time (6:30 PT). Then it's off to bed, as all must be ready to report at 10 p.m. for Thursday morning's first session at Verde Valle.