As previously mentioned on this website, there are a couple of reasons we should follow NCAA soccer this year, despite Chivas USA not (currently) having any draft picks in 2014. One of them is that there are many Chivas USA Academy and U23 players playing in college. It could be very likely that should these players not get drafted, the Goats will invite them to train with the first team as a method for feeding the bench (and we all know Chivas USA likes young, cheap players). The Chivas USA Academy has been a strong force in the US Soccer Developmental Academy scheme the past few years, and several players have now moved on to NCAA Soccer. Additionally, many of the players on the championship U23 squad this summer primarily ply their trade in college and have returned to their respective schools.
Here's an update on a few of the key players:
Tarek Morad (UC Irvine - Senior) - The UC Irvine midfielder has been off to a hot start this season. Morad has started in all of the Anteaters' matches this season, and helped propel the team to Top Drawer Soccer's Top 25 this week. The team came up with big upsets against Louisville (1-0 win) and Indiana (1-1 draw), and are hoping to keep the momentum all season. Morad was one of the U23 players invited to train with Chivas USA's first team this summer.
Romario Lomeli (UC Riverside - Freshman) - Lomeli's freshman year at UC Riverside has gotten off to an explosive start. Not only is the team undefeated in its first 6 matches, but Lomeli has 4 goals and 1 assist on the season.
Eric Gonzalez (UC Riverside - Sophomore) - Another product of the Chivas USA academy, Gonzalez was also a member of this summer's U23 squad. The midfielder has solidified his place as a starter in UC Riverside's lineup, and has been an instrumental part of their undefeated squad.
Mynor Giron (Cal State Northridge- Junior) - The defender who played for the U23 squad this summer has featured in all six matches for CSUN this year, and helped maintain their record of 6 wins. The Matadors were selected as the 5th best team in the nation this week by Top Drawer Soccer after they pulled off a shock 3-2 upset at New Mexico this weekend. In addition to starting, Giron has 2 assists so far this season.