CD Chivas USA will open its first training camp near the club's roots. The expansion club will hold the first two weeks of the preseason in Guadalajara, home of Club Deportivo Guadalajara, a prospect that excites Chivas USA Coach Thomas Rongen.
"It's going to be great for two weeks to be in a real football environment," Rongen said. "We'll be very close to our roots, so to speak. That's where our heritage, that's where our tradition is from. It's good for our younger players, to get them a better understanding of what Chivas is all about."
The camp will run from Feb. 1-12 and will feature 20 players: eight of the club's 10 expansion draft picks, four SuperDraft picks and eight Mexican players expected to be signed in the coming weeks.
"At this point in time we've made progress as an expansion team pretty well. We have quite a few players on our roster which is a far cry from when we announced this team a few months ago," Rongen said.
"We're extremely happy right now that we have the group of guys we have to start preseason. Clearly some of those guys will be part of our (full roster) and some of those guys will be part of our reserve team."
In Guadalajara, the club will hold intrasquad matches and numerous two-a-day training sessions. Also, the players will attend two Chivas games at Estadio Jalisco: a Copa Libertadores qualifier against Cienciano of Peru on Feb. 2 and a league match against Veracruz on Feb. 5.
"The next few weeks and the whole preseason will be just one dynamic evolution of building a team. I'm excited about it," Rongen said. "It's a very interesting process, it's a daunting process but right now we're talking about excitement. We're looking forward to the first day on Monday, getting the players on the field ... and working on the real stuff, the on-the-field stuff which is the fun part for everybody."
CD Chivas USA pre-training camp roster
Goalkeepers: Martin Zuniga, Brad Guzan
Defenders: Armando Bejines, Antonio de la Torre, Ezra Hendrickson, Alfonso Loera, Orlando Perez, Esteban Arias, Aaron Lopez
Midfielders: Ramon Ramirez, Arturo Torres, Hector Cuadros, Francisco Mendoza, Christian Jimenez
Forwards: Thiago Martins, Isaac Romo, Alonso Sandoval, Matt Taylor, Jamil Walker
Luis Bueno is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.