Chivas forward Marco Fabian is fully aware of the national team's poor form recently in World Cup qualifying and the Confederations Cup, so he is setting his sights on reviving his stalling career for both club and country. "I'm working day after day to be a better player, a better person, with more humility," Fabian told the club website in an interview with a markedly different tone than usual. "I want to get better than I have been, overcome limits and be able to carry this team and win a place both here and with the national team.
Last week's signing of Aldo de Nigris made many in the world of Mexican football sit up and take notice of Chivas. For a change, it was for the right reasons. Most had heard the line that Chivas would be "opening the checkbook" at a Liga MX transfer draft before and were subsequently let down. Not this time. De Nigris arrives at Club Deportivo Guadalajara as the major signing this season in the league and Chivas' biggest-name transfer for many years. There are reports he is the most expensive Mexican to move between Mexican clubs in history.
If Chivas had written a collective list of who the club should sign ahead of Wednesday's Liga MX draft, Aldo de Nigris' name would've been very close to the top, but not many thought owners Jorge Vergara and Angelica Fuentes would be willing to part with a reported figure of six million dollars for any player. When the surprise announcement was made on Wednesday that De Nigris would be heading to the Perla Tapatia, social networks erupted. It was an important psychological boost for the club, just as the transfer window was closing and Guadalajara was seemingly left with just Nestor Vidrio coming in.
As Mexico's richest clubs scramble to sign the best quality foreign talent, usually from South America, its most successful side CD Guadalajara (Chivas) swims against the tide. Chivas have maintained a set policy of only playing with Mexican players and it is unlikely to change anytime soon. "Chivas doesn’t intend to change playing only with Mexicans, something that has been one of the most important and rooted traditions in Mexican football," read a statement from the club on November 7, 2012.
Jorge Vergara once described Johan Cruyff as “the person who knows most about soccer in all the world.” But that was before Cruyff’s brief stint at the club was cut short by an email stating that the Dutch legend’s time at Chivas was up back in December. - Chivas fire coach - Chivas face lawsuit This week, Cruyff once again tackled the subject of Guadalajara, calling the club "embarrassing". "In the last 22 seasons, which are 11 years (in Mexico's split season format), I believe they have won only once," stated the former Barcelona player and coach.
Mexico City's Club America won a quite remarkable Liga MX final against Cruz Azul Sunday evening, with goalkeeper Moises Munoz the hero after heading in an injury time-winner to take the game into extra time. Las Aguilas' penalty shoot-out victory had wide-ranging implications over in Guadalajara. Shortly after the victory, hundreds of America fans took to La Minerva fountain -- the traditional celebration spot for Chivas triumphs -- to sing, dance and generally be gleeful. But this wasn't just fans celebrating a single title.
Chivas may have gotten nowhere near the playoffs in the Clausura season, but that doesn’t mean they have been out of the news, even with the Liga MX Liguilla reaching its crescendo. On Saturday – during the America-Monterrey Liga MX semifinal – the club released a statement announcing the purchase of Pachuca right back Nestor Vidrio. It’s a solid signing. The 24-year-old is in his prime, can also play in the center of defense and possesses the kind of quality that will improve Chivas instantly.
It is no secret that Chivas are looking to rejuvenate the ailing squad that finished the Clausura season in a miserable 17th position. Sporting director Dennis te Kloese said as much even before the regular season ended. Now with the Clausura playoffs at the semifinal stage and the June 5 player draft in Cancun creeping up, the club is working hard behind the scenes on getting deals in place to strengthen ahead of next season's Apertura 2013. First of all, te Kloese has stated that Omar Esparza (who was on loan at San Luis) and Antonio Gallardo (on loan at Queretaro) are very likely to return to the club.
As Club Deportivo Guadalajara turned 107 Wednesday, there was little celebration and players were busy painting the front of a local orphanage. Unlike most clubs that didn't make the playoffs, Chivas players have been made to stay around Guadalajara this week to carry out altruistic works around the city. The club says it isn't any kind of punishment, but it's hard to believe considering it came off the back of the game last Friday against Tijuana which Chivas lost, 4-0. Local journalists reported rumors suggesting some players had to cancel pre-planned vacations.
The season has come to an abrupt halt for Chivas, the winds of change are in the air and coach Benjamin Galindo has sat down with directors about plans for next season. Signings are promised to fill some of the sizable holes in the squad, but considering Chivas are made up only of Mexican players, options are naturally more limited compared to other clubs. What followers are 11 players who are realistic signings (i.e., not Chicharito or Carlos Vela) and could improve on what Guadalajara has at the moment.
Abysmal? Shambolic? Embarrassing? If you had to sum up Chivas' 2-1 defeat on Sunday in the Estadio Omnilife against 10-man Queretaro in one word, it would be one along those lines. The club itself agreed. Coach Benjamin Galindo said after the game that his players lacked attitude, while sporting president Dennis te Kloese suggested that there will now be actions, not words to rectify the situation, which was widely interpreted as an overhaul of the squad. The focus on promoting youth is and should remain a strong part of the club's ethos, but the fact nine homegrown players have debuted this season can be interpreted too as an over-reliance on untried youth.
Despite the poor season Chivas have endured this Clausura, nobody can accuse the club of shirking their stated aim of giving youth a chance. Eight youth-teamers have debuted with the first team this season. With that in mind, I sat down recently in Chivas’ Verde Valle training complex in Guadalajara with director of sporting development Jose Luis "Guero" Real for an exclusive ESPNFC interview about the importance of youth within Chivas and to go over what fans can expect from players who debuted this season.