Yesterday, J.R. Eskilson of Topdrawersoccer.com tweeted out this bombshell:
You may recall that van der Most used to run Chivas USA's Academy, until he was abruptly fired in August 2011. At that time, Chivas USA incorporated the New York Cosmos West Academy into their Academy, as the Cosmos were preparing to make a bid for MLS, and would not be allowed to have academies outside of their geographical region. It should be noted that two of Chivas USA's senior signings, Marvin Iraheta and Marky Delgado, originally came from the Cosmos Academy, and the Academy overall reached unprecedented heights on the field in 2012 under Teddy Chronopoulos and Dan Calichman.
Still, van der Most was well-respected at the time of his dismissal, and he has to be given at least some credit for laying the groundwork for the successes last season. And given the (sorta re)appointment of Dennis te Kloese to Chivas USA's front office, it seems van der Most has been rehired at his behest.
The concern in all of this is whether the culture of instability that has plagued Chivas de Guadalajara is trickling all the way down to Chivas USA's Youth Academy. We may look back at this story and see that it is just a blip and won't impact the long term development of the Academy and Chivas USA's first team. But there is going to be turmoil in the short term, whether that means scaring potential recruits away, or actually sending current talented Academy players to other destinations. Eskilson, who knows as much about Academy matters on the West Coast as anybody, speculated on that as well:
Chivas USA Academy is loaded with talented players (Malcolm Jones, Ben Spencer, Joshua Perez, etc.) Not sure how many they hold onto now.— J.R. Eskilson (@JREskilson) January 10, 2013
It is an ongoing story, and we'll keep you posted as more information becomes available.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!