Chivas USA reached a milestone on Sunday versus the Montreal Impact. The club fielded seven Mexican-Americans on its starting squad for the first time ever in its history.
Actually, Chivas reached a majority Mexican-American milestone two weeks ago versus New England. That game had six Chicano starters. The following week against FC Dallas we saw that amount repeated. But this last game against Montreal was the first time that we've seen seven Mexican-Americans start for this club, ever. Five of these Chicanos (Eric Avila, Carlos Borja, Jorge Villafana, Marky Delgado and Gabriel Farfan) have ties to the Chivas USA Academy.
Chivas has not lost a game since going with a majority Chicano squad. Fun fact, right? I'm not using this stat to say that this is the only way to go, it's just an observation. And we may see an eighth Mexican-American in the starting lineup with the arrival of Carlos Bocanegra.
So is the academy finally bearing fruits? Yes, obviously. We'd be remiss not to mention the landmark signing of Caleb Calvert, who is the youngest player ever to sign out of the Chivas USA Academy. The club is graduating its players to the first team directly from the academy, and in other cases it goes after its prodigal sons, those with former ties to it, like in the cases of Avila, Borja and Farfan.
Now all of a sudden, Chivas USA is doing the work that Club Tijuana, for awhile, was doing by recruiting Mexican-American talent. Now CUSA has surpassed the Xolos in the amount of Chicanos playing for a major league club.
And speaking of getting results at the academy level, Alejandro Vergara and Calvert of the Chivas USA U-15/16s have been named to the USSDA's West Conference Starting XI. Of course, their success is tied to their coaching and it's for Mike Muñoz's results as the head coach of the U-16s that the Galaxy have come knocking, in what looks like a classic case of one team stealing another's playbook. Why? Muñoz also assisted the Chivas U-18s, U-23s and Sacha Van der Most at the first team level. Chivas stresses the need to play one style of soccer from the academy to the first team and Muñoz absorbed the style taught at the academy, which he now will hand over to the Galaxy.
Back at the first team, Chivas is gradually improving as the stats suggest. Opta Jack provided this stat during the game with Montreal...
And now that number stretches to seven, after tying Montreal, to put things in perspective.
This Friday Chivas de Guadalajara is in the U.S. to take on DC United, that just signed former Chivas USA Academy player Luis Silva. CDG is 3-1-1 all time versus DCU and have won 9, lost 3, and tied 7 all time versus MLS teams. Their match against DCU is their final preseason game before the start of the Liga MX Apertura 2013. CDG are 6-0 in preseason play thus far.
And so with the milestone reached at Montreal, Chivas USA is looking more and more like a true Rebaño Angelino.
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