SA: Are Chivas USA and other MLS teams just getting started doing what pro teams around the world have been doing for a decades, using their resources and ex-pros to work promising players through a development system?
JC: We have a vision of greatness, to be honest, to be one of the models of how a youth academy should look around the country. It’s quite an undertaking but we have a lot of good people involved, Teddy Chronopolous and Dan Calichman as well as Greg Vanney, who’s kind of spearheading the whole thing. It’s fun to be around these guys, I’ve played against them for so long, and looked up to them. To be in the mix with them is a pretty neat experience.
We’re already talking about a couple of our U-16, U-18 players playing in a reserve game, maybe coming out to practice with the first team and get a taste of what it’s about, so they know what it looks like and feels like and tastes like. That’s kind of the drug to sell to them so they’ll do the work to become good soccer players.
It’s a process. It’s not going to happen overnight but we’ll try to make it happen as fast as we can.
Chivas USA do Equality Night. Proceeds from their game July 23rd against the Houston Dynamo will go to the LA Gay and Lesbian Center. This is awesome. I know the Crew are doing a tournament for the LGBT community, and I like to see more teams getting involved and reaching out.
(Also, Dan Kennedy, get better at reading cue cards)
So Chivas USA have this program called “Jerseys off their Backs” and at the end of every home game 11 fans get the jersey off the back of the 11 players left on the field.
Last time I went I got the call to win but I missed it. HOWEVER, I got it again today!! AND THAT’S THE JERSEY I GOT OK. BEST DUDE EVER. They take you down field side for the last 7-10 minutes of the game, which was pretty surreal. After I got it I told him my friends and I brought him Oreos and pointed him to our section. I got back to the seats in time to give them to him, but we had to toss them because he couldn’t get over the barrier as the coaches were calling them for warm downs. He proceeded to open the pack, grab a couple, and eat them as running for warm downs.
In an interview after the 1-1 draw, Gordon said the game was one Toronto should have won, “especially against a team like Chivas, that’ll probably be somewhere around the bottom of the West”.
When asked about Gordon’s dig at his former teammates, Nagamura sighed.
“To be honest, I was really disappointed because he was a guy who spent the whole preseason with us,” he said. “Just a few weeks ago he was part of our team; he was one of us. So to hear from his mouth, him saying that we’re going to finish in the bottom of the West, that’s very disappointing.”
I think it’s pretty poor form for any person on any team to say something like that about another team. Yes, you always have teams who are not strong, or are rebuilding and are going to be “bottom feeders” but that doesn’t mean you diss them like that. Especially when your team is also in the same state of rebuild.
Dan Kennedy, the eldest of the four players, acted as emcee for much of the event, and was comfortable and funny on the microphone. Midfielder Ben Zemanski revealed his favorite book is The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein. Blair Gavin said he has seven favorite books: the entire Harry Potter series. Rookie Zarek Valentin was very popular with the kids, and showed off a hidden talent- the ability to make incredibly life-like bird noises.
Please tell me this means the end of Ante Jazic with the team. Obviously he won’t start now but I wonder what it will do for Carlos Borja. Borja didn’t play today, with Jazic and Flores as the picks for LB, and then Valentin and a trialist for RB.