Earlier this year, Chivas USA confirmed an agreement was in place to sell midfielder Eric Avila to Liga MX side Santos Laguna. As I mentioned at the time, the wording of that made it still provisional, though if the team was willing to confirm it (something they never did in those circumstances that I recall), it seemed like it was pretty well set.
Well, that doesn't look like that's the case, as Chivas de Guadalajara began preseason training for the 2015 Clausura season on Thursday, and guess who was spotted? Local reporter Karina Herrera tweeted the following picture:
Translation: "Two newcomers to the fold, Eric Avila and Alexis Mendiola from Sweden, both on trial!"
Later on, Herrera tweeted this:
En Conferencia de Prensa, JM De La Torre, confirma que Ávila y Mendiola estarán a prueba con Chivas pic.twitter.com/RUmNYqZrB4— Karina Herrera (@chapis_herrera) December 4, 2014
Translation: "At the press conference, JM De La Torre confirmed that Avila and Mendiola are on trial with Chivas."
Yes, former Mexican national team coach Jose Manuel "Chepo" de la Torre is back in charge of Chivas. With the club in relegation peril, sitting in fourth (though the three teams with a worse points average are all on the same amount), the coming season is absolutely massive for their survival hopes. Will Avila make the grade this time?
Remember of course that Avila was on trial with CD Guadalajara prior to the 2013 Apertura season, but it appeared that pressure from MLS ensured the American would return to Chivas USA, amidst concerns that Jorge Vergara was using CUSA to merely mine talent and leave as a dead husk.
This time, there's no pressure from up north to bring Avila back, so it will be interesting to see how he does on this trial. Meanwhile, it appears that Santos is continuing their long (by Mexican standards) rebuilding project, and perhaps changed their minds on Avila, which is a shame. But hopefully he finds a team that will give him minutes.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!