Ávila will implement new tactics in familiar place

Next match: Chivas USA travels to Texas for an Independence Day match against Western Conference leader FC Dallas. Match time is 6 p.m. PST

Heading into Chivas USA’s match with FC Dallas, midfielder Éric Ávila will look to implement a few new tactics in a very familiar place. The San Diego native recently spent nearly three weeks with Chivas Guadalajara during their preseason program and said that he was able to sharpen his tactical ball work skills while with the Mexican club. Ávila won’t have to wait long to display those skills, as he and the Red-and-White will square off against the club that gave the 25-year-old his start in Major League Soccer.

Drafted out of UC Santa Barbara, Ávila broke into the League with FCD in 2008 and spent nearly four seasons there before being traded to Toronto FC, which gives the midfielder plenty of experience and knowledge about where the sweet spots are throughout the pitch at FC Dallas Stadium.

“It’s a big field, and it’s going to be hot,” said Ávila. “Obviously I played there a bunch of times and know exactly where and how to move out there. It will be nice and big and the pitch is always ready.”

In his first season with the Rebaño Angelino, Ávila has gotten the opportunity to play under different styles of play. Now, under the guidance of Head Coach José Luis Real, and having spent time with Benjamín Galindo’s First Team in Guadalajara, the attacker will have elements to add to his offensive arsenal. The first-year Goat has recorded a goal and two assists so far on the season and will seek to go forward with the ball against his old club to score or set up one of his teammates.

“It’s a little different style [in Mexico], just more focused on control and keeping the ball is very important,” Ávila mentioned. “Going into Dallas it’s going to be very tough and very hot, so obviously keeping the ball and keeping the rhythm going is very important. The pace of play in Major League Soccer is fast and you have to think a little quicker.”

From one leader to another

The news involving the U.S. Men’s National Team player Carlos Bocanegra and his signing with Chivas USA were well received in the Red-and-White locker room.  The defender was acquired after a preliminary trade was arranged with Toronto FC exchanging the first allocation ranking slot for Chivas’ 2015 Natural 1st Round SuperDraft pick and an international roster spot through 2014.

The Goats’ captain and goalkeeper Dan Kennedy is well aware of the importance that Bocanegra’s arrival has to the team and what it means for their daily work and for their goal to improve the state of the club.

“It’s a tremendous signing for us.” Kennedy said. “He’s a leader on the field and off the field and he’s played in the top leagues all over the world so I expect him to bring a different standard here and I know he’ll help this team not only by getting results but also by putting some fans in the stands and he’ll be good for all the guys in the locker room. I’m excited.”

The centerback joins Chivas USA from Spanish Second-Division Real Racing de Santander where the defender became a key piece in their team. Now, in his return to Major League Soccer, Bocanegra hopes to fulfill his role with the Red-and-White.

“I need to come in and be a leader, lead by example, lead by my actions on the field, lead on and off the field,” explained Bocanegra via conference call.  “It’s an organization that has had a lot of turnover and hopefully we can get some stability there. Hopefully we can start off a new challenge and keep moving in the right direction, put a good product out on the field and start winning some more games.”

Bocanegra, who made his professional debut in MLS, will be able to test the League’s growth first hand as the transfer window opens up on July 9. It will be then when the defender will join his new teammates as they prepare in Philadelphia to face the local side, Philadelphia Union, on Friday, July 12.

Morales and Mexico are out of World Cup

Chivas USA forward Julio Morales and the Mexico’s U20 National Team played their last match in the FIFA World Cup of their category on Tuesday evening in Istanbul, Turkey. After falling 2-1 to Spain’s U20 squad in the Round of 16, the Mexicans are out of the tournament and, after two months in international call,  will now return to their respective clubs.

Mexico’s U20 squad went up on the scoreboard as early as the first minute of the match with a goal by Arturo González. In the 74th minute, Spain was able to score the equalizer through Derik Osede and in the 90th minute, Jesé Rodríguez sealed the score by notching the final 2-1. It wasn’t until the 91st minute that the Red-and-White player Julio Morales entered the field in Mexico’s desperation to find the equalizer. Those three additional minutes in the match were not enough for Morales and El Tri, as the group fell to La Rojita.

In this FIFA’s U20 World Cup in Turkey, the Mexicans earned their pass to the second round as the third best ranked team in the group after earning a 4-1 victory over Mali in their last match of the group phase.

Morales will return to Chivas USA in the next few days as he will join the team in their 10-day tour across the East Coast where they will visit FC Dallas on July 4, Impact Montreal three days later and Philadelphia Union on Friday, July 12.

Rojiblancos prepare to hit the road Wednesday

Chivas USA returned to training Tuesday morning at the StubHub Center’s Field 6 as part of a short week of preparation for their Western Conference rematch at FC Dallas. The Red-and-White began the session with light agility work off the ball for initial warm-ups and shortly after, the squad incorporated ball work into their drills, as they completed touches among their teammates.

Afterwards, the group was split into two, with each occupying a half of the pitch. The squad at the far side of the field completed light finishing and distribution drills inside the box with a ‘keeper in goal. The attacking players would rotate to work on crosses as well as one-time finishes. Meanwhile, the group working on the near side under the leadership of Head Coach José Luis Real completed defensive tactical work.

The session then culminated by uniting the two groups to compete in an 11-on-11 scrimmage that ran the length of the pitch for approximately 30 minutes. The morning concluded with a series of stretches before preparing for their final training session in Los Angeles on Wednesday before departing for Dallas to start their three-game road trip.

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