This wasn’t part of Alejandro Moreno’s plan.
The veteran striker expected to be part of the Philadelphia Union’s future, to help the expansion team grow into an MLS powerhouse.
But Moreno’s time in Philadelphia ended after just one season when he was selected by the Vancouver Whitecaps in the 2010 Expansion Draft and then immediately traded to Chivas USA.
“When I was approached about coming to Philadelphia in the first place, I made a commitment not only with the team but certainly in buying a place in Philadelphia and moving my family,” Moreno told MLSsoccer.com by phone as he began his preseason training with Chivas. “I was fully committed to the organization and I bought fully into what the team was trying to do.”
While the Venezuelan was upset about leaving Philadelphia, he’s certainly gotten used to the transient lifestyle of a professional athlete. Chivas USA will be the sixth team for whom he’ll play since joining the league in 2002. The hardest part, he says, is picking up and moving across the country with his family and finding new schools for his sons, ages 6 and 2.
“If you feel like you’re in a good place and you’re settled and your family is comfortable,” Moreno said, “you obviously feel that being protected would be the best thing. It didn’t happen that way. But it does give you a good feeling to know there is a team out there willing to commit to you as a player. In turn, I will commit myself to them like I have with all of my other teams.”
[inline_node:327582]Always the gentleman, Moreno had all good things to say about his one season in Philadelphia, especially with his relationship with fellow striker Sebastien Le Toux. The two roomed together on the road and Le Toux often came over to play with Moreno’s children.
Their rapport on the field was just as strong with Moreno, who set up a few of Le Toux’s team-leading 14 goals. Moreno himself finished with just two goals in nearly 2,000 minutes of action, but he had seven assists and was a reliable work horse up top.
“I think I bring a lot of value – things that may not be quantifiable, things that may not show up in the stat sheet, but things that are important to the state of a team,” Moreno said. “I show up for work every day with a smile on my face and I’m thankful I get to do what I do.”
In the end, though, the progression of Danny Mwanga, who scored seven goals in his rookie season, and the potential of teenage striker Jack McInerney made Moreno expendable.
Moreno says he believes the Union will bring in another striker to ease the goal-scoring burden of Le Toux and Mwanga, but is quick to add that he can’t be concerned with the happenings in Philadelphia. His life is now 3,000 miles away.
“It’s a chapter that was a positive one in many different ways,” Moreno said of his one season with Philly. “It was a learning experience in many different ways, and it was frustrating in some ways. But it’s a chapter that I’ve closed. Now it’s time to move on to other things.”