Yesterday, Eric Avila played for Chivas de Guadalajara against his actual team, Chivas USA, in a closed friendly. Guadalajara won 1-0, on a goal set up by Avila, and following quotes late last week from Chivas sporting president Dennis te Kloese that Avila was "pretty likely" going to Chivas de Guadalajara, along with on-loan Chivas USA midfielder Giovani Casillas, it seems pretty much set that Avila will be leaving MLS for the first time in his pro career.
Yesterday, following the friendly, Blair Angulo reported on MLSsoccer.com that Avila "bid farewell" to his Chivas USA teammates, as Chivas de Guadalajara is set to go back to Mexico to continue their preseason training.
For all the teeth-gnashing that I and many CUSA fans have been doing over the seemingly-inevitable departure of one of Chivas USA's best players this year, it is worth noting some of the quotes Avila provided in that article. It seems he really does want this opportunity, and wants to play in Mexico:
"It's something I really want," Avila said. "I really appreciate the opportunity to practice with them and hopefully I can stay.
"I felt nervous at first, but my teammates made me feel comfortable. ... Hopefully in the weeks to come I can get more settled in."
"I'm very excited," he enthused. "Guadalajara is a big team and just for me to practice with them is unbelievable. Luckily, they've given me a chance.
"I love my team here at Chivas USA, they've been a family to me. But luckily this opportunity came up, so we talked about it and decided to go forward with it. I'll train with them [in Mexico] and see what happens."
One thing to keep in mind: based on how the parties have publicly spoken about this, it does not appear that an official transfer will be coming within the next few days. Instead, this appears to be a trial during the preseason, and if Avila passes the test, then Chivas will likely bring him aboard officially. And I wouldn't be surprised if they just loan him in from Chivas USA, although we'd have to see on that front.
Still, official or not, he will likely be gone from Chivas USA for many weeks, and could be gone for good. Even if it's just a trial, it comes in the middle of the MLS season, though that apparently is immaterial to Chivas de Guadalajara's interests.
And if you were wondering if Chivas USA are already looking to add players once the summer transfer window opens next month, here's what new coach Jose Luis Real said in the same Angulo article:
"Right now, it's not urgent for us to add anyone. We have time to make some decisions."
Technically, he's right, they can't add anybody for a few weeks even if they wanted to. But are they really looking to add anybody? We'll see.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!