GUADALAJARA, Mexico – Last week, the man in charge of scouting for both Chivas Guadalajara and Chivas USA was in Phoenix. This week, he's in Las Vegas. Jose Luis “Güero” Real is leaving no stone unturned in seeking out talent north of the Rio Grande.
“Nobody has to convince me to go to look for players in the United States because there are players with a lot of talent there,” Chivas' director of sporting development told MLSsoccer.com last week.
Despite Guadalajara's famous Mexican-only policy, however, It’s not just Mexican-American talent Real is looking for. He is also busy scouring youth teams for players from a range of backgrounds for Chivas USA, too.
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However, if they are Mexico passport holders, the option of bringing them down south to Guadalajara is a very real one.
“Those that are of Mexican origin we have a look at so that they can also come here,” he said.
Scouting the United States isn’t new for 60-year-old Real – who is regarded as one of the most prominent cultivators of young talent in the Mexican game – and he says the club has strengthened efforts to find new players north of the border.
“I’ve been going to look at players in the United States for the last 10 years," the former head coach said. "In those 10 years, I’ve always seen players with a lot of quality, of all types. So now we are going to the United States continually."
Chivas Guadalajara already have Sacramento-born left back Miguel Ponce, who has now appeared three times for Mexico's senior squad, in their first team and American-born talents like Jaime Frias, Luis Martir and Juan Pablo Ocegueda within their youth system. And if Real's assertions about US talent are indeed true, that list may just be growing very soon.
Tom Marshall covers Americans playing in Latin America for MLSsoccer.com. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.