UNC midfielder Mikey Lopez says he wants to go to Chivas USA. So does Big East Player of the Year Carlos Alvarez. And that’s significant with a capital “S.”
This piece from MLSSoccer.com, where Dallas native Lopez spells out his Goat-centric ambition, makes the point that circling a particular MLS destination is noteworthy in itself.
But there’s a different point I’d like to make about players like Lopez and Alvarez going on record here.
Let’s face it, if someone says he wants to go to New York to play alongside Thierry Henry, or some impressionable type says he’s jonesing to experience the high frenzy of being a hometown hero at Seattle or Portland, that’s not going to register on our shock detectors
But speaking publicly about a burning desire to wear the red stripes of Chivas USA? Apologies to all Chivas USA supporters, and to Chivas USA blogger (at The Goat Parade) and friend of PST Alicia Rodriguez, but that makes me turn my head and go “Hmmmm.” Not in a bad way.
Chivas USA can be a place where careers go to die. That goes for players and coaches. (Just ask recently deposed manager Robin Fraser.)
If I’m an agent today and some says Chivas USA is interested in trading for one of my clients, I do everything in my power to kill that idea before it gains a speck of momentum. The organization remains too unstable, bereft of clear direction, guided by an owner who is all over the place.
So, when an intriguing young player like Lopez or Alvarez says he wants to go, he’s adding valuable red blood cells into the very life body of that organization. (Not to mention this: if Chivas was to select budding defensive midfielder Lopez (pictured) or budding playmaker Alvarez with that No. 2 overall pick, either would instantly engage the fast track to “legend” status around a club that doesn’t have much of that at present.)