Time for an update of recent Chivas USA Academy news...
The U.S. U-14 national team is holding an 11-day training camp in Madrid, Spain that began on Friday, and features one Chivas USA Academy player, forward Ulysses Llanez, and former academy player John Hilton, who is highly touted in Europe and officially unattached to an academy right now.
The U-14s will play games while in Spain against Real Madrid, Rayo Vallecano, and Extremadura.
In other news, a former CUSA Academy U-16 player, Josh Perez, has turned up in the U.S. U-17 residency program for the current term (another former CUSA Academy player, Hugo Arellano, is now with the LA Galaxy Academy and continuing his stint with the residency group). Perez, you may recall, is one of the most highly touted players of his age group, and he signed a deal with Italian side Fiorentina back in April 2013 as a youth player.
Now, it's unclear why Perez is no longer with Fiorentina. Maybe it just didn't work out. Maybe he got homesick and wanted to return to the U.S. There is, as well, the ongoing investigations around Europe of clubs that are bringing in foreign youth players, and some of them, including Barcelona and Real Madrid, are either being sanctioned or are very close to being sanctioned for bypassing standard rules for youth players (things like players can't simply be recruited across national boundaries to join clubs -- and if they move to that club's city, their parents come with them and are originally there to work a job independent of the club). Perez is not listed as a player in Fiorentina's youth teams, so player and team may have parted ways because they never would have passed an investigation about his addition without being found guilty, but that's speculation on my part.
More to the point, Perez is with the U.S. U-17 residency program now, and he recently made a mark in a two-game series against Panama's U-17s in Bradenton, Florida, when he scored the insurance goal in a 2-0 win. So regardless of whether his European adventure is over (for now, anyway), he seems to have gotten off to a strong start in his next locale.
On another front, this week was signing week for the NCAA sports, and there was considerable coverage of what schools did what and which academies are sending which players where.
What about Chivas USA's Academy? Well, I've found no word really about any college commitments, which is likely down to there being no publicity machine for the academy now that Chivas USA's organization is gone apart from the academy.
I did uncover two commitments on Top Drawer Soccer's database of college pledges from CUSA. One, for forward Ivan Gutierrez, is with NCAA powerhouse UCLA, but he's only a high school junior, so his commitment is only verbal at this point and he couldn't sign a letter of intent this week.
The other CUSA player listed is midfielder Andrew Mendoza, who is not listed in Chivas USA's current U-17/18 roster for the 2014-15 season, but has been profiled this season by TimeWarner Cable Deportes for his long commute to CUSA training and games (Spanish). At any rate, he's graduating this year, and so presumably signed a letter of intent for his college, San Jose State University. Congrats to him!
We'll have an update on recent Academy results coming soon, but in the meantime, congrats to the players, currently affiliated and past alike, on their various accomplishments in recent weeks. Keep doing your Academy proud!
(By the way, if you know of more college commitments from Chivas USA's Academy, let us know -- we would love to highlight the accomplishment).
What do you think? Leave a comment below!