Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Week 1 - Chivas USA

Admittedly, I had been forewarned that it's nigh on impossible to survive in LA without a car, but I was adamant.

I only had to get to the Home Depot Center (the stadium, not the store). I could get there and back no trouble.....

For the most part, I was right - it took two hours by bus to get to the stadium, so I was there in time to see the end of a Chivas USA training session.

When I arrived, a mixture of youth team players and trialists were playing a pre-season practice match against local team Dominguez Hills. Former Hearts midfielder Fernando Screpis was one of the trialists for Chivas, whose first team players had a day off.

David Lindholm, the communications co-ordinator for Chivas, talked me through some of their history - formed in 2005 as a branch of the Mexican side Chivas Guadalajara, and with a strong emphasis on maintaining a strong Mexican core. And for a team that is barely four years old, an average attendance at the Home Depot Center (they share it with bitter rivals LA Galaxy) of 15-17 thousand is mighty impressive.

Interestingly, David told me that Chivas previously targetted their marketing towards families, but that the twenty-something professional is now the desired audience. Something to look out for in future, possibly.

I will soon be speaking with one of the Ultras supporters for the Chivas, John Sandate. John has already told me, in no uncertain terms, what he thinks of David Beckham & the Galaxy - but I will save that for next time.

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