Once, when asked about why so many Colombians find there way to Major League Soccer, I responded “because the checks don’t bounce.”
That’s not the whole story. The United States is a great place to play and offers huge lifestyle incentives. And from MLS’s point of view, when you’re trying to recruit somebody from Colombia, you’re talking about a league with enough quality to produce good players but not enough exposure to launch them straight to Europe.
As Zoé would say, “click-click, match-match?”1
On Tuesday, those factors came together once more, with Chivas USA dipping into the Colombian league to sign 19-year-old José Erick Correa. The striker led his team in scoring before coming north, potting six goals in 12 matches for Boyacá Chico. In 35 career matches for the Tunja-based club, Correa’s scored 12 times.
You can see a bit of him here, scoring Boyacá’s first and fourth goals:
Did you catch the MLS mention? The video was uploaded on April 15, so obviously, the Colombians were way ahead of us on this one.
At 6’1″, 190, this looks like the type of through-the-middle attacker that could free up Alejandro Moreno, though it’s hard to say too much about these types of things before the kid’s played a minute.
Still, he looks promising. Correa’s currently with the national team in Bogotá, and although José Pekerman hasn’t been able to call in a full squad, it’s still a sign Correa has gotten on his radar (something, as we’ve seen with Fredy Montero, is not easy to do with Colombia).
This move might spark questions about Juan Pablo Angel’s health (concussion-related problems) or Chivas USA’s feelings about rookie Casey Townsend, but even if those two were clicking, the team needed depth. With only four goals in six games, you can’t blame the team for wanting help.
It’s unclear when that help will arrive, but when it does, Correa will be the third Colombian on Chivas USA’s roster and the 32nd MLS’s overall. It’s a huge continent that’s helped bolster the league’s talent pool, one you can’t help but wonder positively influenced the decision of such a young player.
1 – Any takers on the reference? Recent film. Independent, but with a prominent director and lead.