Chivas USA may have gotten off to a bumpy start for the 2010 season, but a different story for their sister club south of the border.
Chivas de Guadalajara have been on a tear. The Mexican side started the year with eight consecutive wins and currently sits in first place in the Mexican Primera División with 31 points from 13 games played.
It’s a success story that Chivas USA are proud to acknowledge and ready to emulate.
“After having some difficulties getting results, they’ve found a way to be consistent,” head coach Martín Vásquez told MLSsoccer.com. “For us, it’s positive because it motivates us to look up to them and try to copy their success.”
Vásquez knows Guadalajara well. As a player with such teams as Puebla, Veracruz and Atlas, he competed against the fabled Chivas. The rookie Red-and-White coach continues to follow the Mexican league.
“I follow it because there are other teams that I played with and I want to see the high level of play,” he said. “I’m following it as consistently as I can.”
Happiest to hear the news of Guadalajara’s success may be Chivas USA midfielder Jesús Padilla. Padilla was a member of Chivas de Guadalajara from 2006 until his arrival in Los Angeles last season. He made 24 appearances for the Mexican Goats, scoring one goal for his efforts.
“They’re having a great season,” Padilla told MLSsoccer.com. “It was hard a few tournaments ago, they were struggling to get wins. But now they’ve started with the right foot and they should keep it up. I’ve been watching the games and staying in touch with some of my friends on the team. They deserve the best.”
Most recently, Chivas knocked off archrival Club América 1-0 in the 152nd edition of the famous Súper Clásico. Regardless of club alliances, it’s a game that few Mexicans miss.
“Being Mexican, it’s part of our culture,” Vásquez said of the derby. “You grow up watching this huge rivalry. When that game is played, every time, millions of Mexicans stop completely and get in front of a TV. It’s a huge deal.”
The relationship between Chivas USA and Chivas de Guadalajara has always been a good one. Beyond sharing the same name and similar colors, the two teams exchange tactics and players.
“We [are in] good communication with Efraín Flores, who is the sports director for Chivas de Guadalajara, [Costa Rican partner] Saprissa and Chivas USA,” said Vásquez. “He’s overseeing the three teams, so the support and the connection is there.”
Chivas USA next face the New York Red Bulls on Saturday afternoon, while Chivas de Guadalajara will battle Morelia that same evening. Will there be any connection between the results?