Moving to Southern California can be an intimidating experience. Especially if you come from El Salvador, where the entire population is less than that of just Los Angeles.
But for Chivas USA midfielder Osael Romero, the switch has been much easier than expected. He can thank teammate Gerson Mayén for that.
“It’s a pleasure having Osael here,” said Mayén. “He is still getting used to the soccer in this league, but it’s great that he’s here. The El Salvadoran national team is growing, and hopefully this will help them get better.”
Romero joined the Red and White on loan from Salvadoran club Vista Hermosa on Feb. 1, and has spent time with Mayén adjusting to his new club and his new home ever since.
“We’ve talked a lot,” said Mayén. “He’s come to my house to visit my family and I’ve taken him to restaurants. It’s been nice. I’m also helping him look for a house right now.”
Mayén’s family is originally from El Salvador, where his uncle was a professional soccer player and member of the national team. While he has made several appearances with the U.S. U-20 National Team, he remains eligible to play for the El Salvador national side.
While Mayén is excited about having Romero in the Chivas USA midfield, he is also aware of the positive impact the new midfielder’s presence will have for the Salvadoran community, both in Los Angeles and elsewhere.
“There aren’t a lot of Salvadoran players in MLS, so I’m sure the fans are pretty excited,” said Mayén. “Salvadorans are soccer-crazy. My family is excited too. Back where my parents are from, they’re crazy about soccer.”