SAN DIEGO – Cesar Romero’s journey to MLS is undoubtedly a unique one.
A former US youth national-team member with experience in the Mexican and German lower divisions, Romero was most recently tearing up the net for Professional Arena Soccer League team Revolución Tijuana until he went on trial with Chivas USA this preseason in hopes of earning a pro contract.
“Indoor was just a little pastime, a little hobby, not even a hobby," Romero explained. "My friend's a coach for them, and he said, 'Do you want to help me out?' I wasn't doing much. [Indoor soccer is] a little faster, a little more contact. It's a little different, but two goals, a ball – it’s pretty much the same objective.”
Romero proved to be adept at putting the ball inside the goal. In seven games with the Revolución, Romero quickly became one of the league’s top scorers, tallying 33 goals.
His indoor skills translated to the outdoor, and the 22-year-old forward quickly showed Chivas that he belonged, scoring two goals and creating many more opportunities to persuade the Rojiblancos to offer him a contract on Wednesday prior to their preseason exhibition against Mexican Primera División Club Tijuana at Torero Stadium.
Romero made his first appearance as a full-fledged Goat that day, playing over 20 minutes and putting in an industrious performance up top as a 10-man Chivas pushed forward late.
“I'm really happy I was able to get an opportunity here at Chivas,” Romero told reporters after Chivas' 5-2 defeat to Xolos. “[Now it's time] to work hard and try to get that starting position and help the team out as much as I can.”
His career coming full circle, Romero was overjoyed to make his professional debut just minutes away from his parents’ home.
“I was really happy,” said Romero. “My [22-month-old] son, my mom, dad, brother, friends were there. Unfortunately, I couldn't score, but I’ll keep working and there'll be other chances.”
Months after playing in arenas in Tijuana, Anaheim and elsewhere, Romero will now get the opportunity to play alongside accomplished players like Alejandro Moreno and Juan Pablo Ángel.
In fact, Ángel has already started to impart his vast wisdom, giving him little tips here and there on the practice field.
“Cesar is a young kid who is willing to do well and has all the energy and desire that a young kid should have when they reach this stage,” Ángel told MLSsoccer.com on Wednesday. “It’s our duty to help him develop into the player that we want him to be. But he has all the ability; he’s fast with an eye for goal and he’s very resilient with the things that he wants to do.”
Chivas USA defeat LMU 4-0
Romero scored his third goal of the preseason on Friday as Chivas USA defeated Loyola Marymount 4-0.
Rookie forward Casey Townsend scored two goals against the college side, bringing his total to four this preseason. Brazilian trialist Alan Sousa scored the other goal.
The match featured trialist Matt Dallman, a 26-year-old left back with experience playing in leagues in Germany and Denmark. Dallman is also a childhood friend of Chivas USA defender Heath Pearce.
Adam Serrano covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at email@example.com
WATCH: Chivas USA jelling in preseason