Diamond in the rough: An interview with Chivas USA U-23 player Jose Gomez

Gomez (middle row, second from right) has considerable pedigree - Chivas USA communications (used with permission)

Do Chivas USA have a colossal talent playing in their system?

As you've likely heard, Chivas USA's new U-23 squad won the state title for their league last weekend. Although most of the players on the team the past few months are still part of the college ranks, playing for the Goats during their offseason, there were a handful of players who graduated college or have already had pro careers in some capacity or another.

One of the biggest names on the team is Jose Gomez, who finished a sparkling collegiate career at Creighton University last year. He was projected to most likely enter MLS this season, but despite being drafted he has yet to sign a professional contract. In order to get a sense of what's happened with the U-23s and his career, The Goat Parade spoke with Jose. Big thanks to him for answering my questions and to the organization for their help in setting up the interview!

Congrats on the state title! How did the season go overall for you and the U-23s?

For us as a team, it was a group of guys that for the most part I'd known, but I'd never played with them, and it was a fast way to adapt to play with each other. It was a really short season...but we were unbeaten the whole season, so that was good for us, and we played well, which was important for the team.

Can you explain how you got involved with Chivas USA's U-23s?

When I came home, looking for a team to play [with], they had tryouts at the Stub Hub Center. One of my coaches, he's an old coach, he coaches for [Chivas USA's Academy] now, he started working for them this year, so he told me to go and see what would happen over there.

I think a lot of people are interested in your story. How has it been for you the last year, going from your senior season in college to the MLS draft process to now the Chivas USA U-23s?

Well, it's been tough. In college I thought I did really good, I came into the college final four three years in a row. And I had a good season this past season, I won a lot of awards for both the league I was playing for, which was Missouri Valley, as well as the nation. I went to the Hermann and I got third place, but...well I hoped I'd be playing in MLS right now. I thought I was capable of playing with them. And I got drafted by Toronto, but for whatever reason it didn't work out.

I came back home and tried to playing with at least a USL team or NASL team, but so far nobody has given me an opportunity. This Chivas thing was something that was good for me. I've been fortunate enough to practice with the first team at times when they needed players, and just keeping in shape and playing matches, not just sitting. But I mean, it's been a rough year, hopefully things get better and I get a chance somewhere to play.

Is your goal still to get a pro contract? Any indications from Chivas USA?

Yeah, just see what happens, I have no idea, just playing with the U-23s, and see where it takes me and see if it opens up anything for me.

What's next for the U-23 team?

From what I know, we're going to keep playing a few players that don't go to college and have nowhere professionally to play, but the kids who are going back to college, we won't be having them. So I think we'll have new players the next few weeks and we start from there, hopefully have a good season like we did these past three months and show ourselves for the first team or for a rival team, you never know who's watching.

What do you think? Leave a comment below!

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