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» One Touch Football - Archive » Football » alexi lalas for mvp, or the galaxian soccer 2008 thread (Page 34)

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Author Topic: alexi lalas for mvp, or the galaxian soccer 2008 thread
ursus arctos
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They've fallen off the wagon in a few cases, the rule tends to be interpreted now as a player having "grown up" in the Basque Country, even if they don't have Basque heritage. They've also resorted to relying on grandparent qualifications.

And of course, their interpretation of the Basque Country includes the French part, thus Lizarazu.

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Soccer Scrimmage
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I remember reading a few years ago (I think) that they were scouring South America for players with Basque last names. Am I wrong about that?
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ursus arctos
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I don't remember that, and it sounds wrong to me (or at least, not something that had been implemented; there were discussions about abandoning the entire "cantera" principle, but they never got anywhere, and it may have been considered preferable to that). I'm pretty sure that Athletic had a Brazilian-born player in the last decade, but he had grown up in the Basque Country.
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Soccer Scrimmage
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Probably it was a floated idea, breathlessly reported as fact by some British media outlet.

In other news, Houston lost to some J-League team 6-1 last night?! Anyone see this disaster?

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jason voorhees
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You're absolutely right about Bilbao looking for player in the Americas, SocScrim.
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Fatbastard, Hugh Fatbastard
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Hey Goldstone - came across this today and thought of you :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tUKze6da7Uo

There's a comment about half way down the pages that explains it all.

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Inca
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Some more from Luis Bueno, from Sideline Views:

quote:
It seems Jesus Padilla and Carlos Borja are part of a possible new wave of Chivas de Guadalajara players.

The club, which had an unwritten rule about using only "Mexicans born in Mexico" prior to this week, has now aligned itself with the Mexican constitution, which states that any child born to Mexican natives regardless of the actual birthplace is considered Mexican. Under the Mexican constitution, Padilla, Borja and yours truly are all in the same boat.

Before this week, though, Chivas' tradition trumped the Mexican constitution. But according to Cancha, the club has now had an apparent policy shift and will cast their nets toward a wider, possibly lucrative talent pool, the Mexican-American pool.

Chivas put out a release on Thursday, and Cancha published this part of it, which I have translated:

The Constitution establishes that Mexican citizenship is inviolable, that there is no manner in which a Mexican by birth can be deprived of it. Thus, Jesus Andres Padilla Cisneros fits this profile and forms part of this institution.

Previously, the club adhered to an unwritten law which dates back to the early 1940s, when then-club president Ignacio Lopez Hernandez wrote in a letter that the club would henceforth accept only "Mexicans born in Mexico" and shut the door completely on foreign-born players.

Since then, a handful of players not born in Mexico have played for the club, the latest of which was Jesus Padilla.

Now, the "Mexicans born in Mexico" policy is seemingly in the past. Many viewed this as a racist and exclusionary policy while others saw no harm in it. As society on both sides of the border is vastly different now than it was six decades ago, the club has realigned its policies as such.

Should this policy stick, it could have a huge ripple affect on soccer in the United States. More American-born players could set their sights on playing in Mexico now that one of the country's most popular clubs no longer will shut them out. This will only increase the competition between MLS and U.S. Soccer and even within other FMF clubs, several of whom already count on Mexican-American players.

Bueno also pointed out elsewhere on the blog that one of Padilla's arguments for being truly Mexican is that he doesn't have blond hair.

AG--I'm not sure exactly on the rules of the cantera, but Phil Ball points out in Morbo that they sometimes stretch the definition of "Basque":

quote:
Athletic's definition of what constitutes a Basque is even odder, given that three of their players in 2003 were born in La Rioja, the wine-growing region to the south of the Basque Country and definitely 'Spain,' while Ismael Urzaiz, their international centre-forward, is from southern Navarre.

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Soccer Scrimmage
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Thanks for that Inca. Very interesting stuff. However, this...

quote:
Should this policy stick, it could have a huge ripple affect on soccer in the United States.
...is way over the top. Mexican-Americans have, until this point, already been able to play for every single club in the country except Chivas. Now they can play for one more. Who cares.
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Inca
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I agree. But Bueno is a huge Chivas homer. I guess he might be arguing that since Chivas is so popular, American-born Mexicans that haven't bothered trying to play for them before will be trying to get their attention now.
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Soccer Scrimmage
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Here's the only argument I see working:

The other clubs can basically choose any player they want. Their talent pool, theoretically, is the world. Chivas, on the other hand, can only choose Mexicans. Therefore, given this restricted talent pool, Chivas will go to great lengths to find talent: they will pay a premium for Mexican players, they will spend more on youth development, etc. With this change in policy, Chivas will now turn its pesos and attention towards Mexican-Americans, who might have been ignored before because the other Mexican teams didn't have the structural incentives to target them.

Make sense?

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Croute au fromage et oeuf au plat
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Hasn't Raphael Wicky been transferred to Chivas recently...?
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ursus arctos
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Chivas USA, not the real thing.
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Inca
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SocScrim--that does make sense. The Chivas mothership would seem to have an advantage over other Mexican teams in scouting in the US with Chivas USA's complex in Bell Gardens. That's where their reserves are based, and it's a great facility that's also a public park in a heavily Mexican neighborhood. It's also where they held their open tryouts last year for the MLS Sueno TV series that was on Univision--I wrote an article about that for USSoccerPlayers.com, but I can't find it on the website.
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Soccer Scrimmage
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Interesting. If I may be permitted to rebut my own argument, Rafael Wicky serves as an example of why I think mothership Chivas's change in policy will have little impact in the US.

When Chivas USA came into the league, they were going to use only Latino players. These players wouldn't come just from Mexican league reserve teams or the Argentine second division, but also from America's own Latino neighborhoods. These places were brimming with talent, went the conventional wisdom, MLS and US Soccer just lacked the cultural nous to tap them.

Now Chivas USA is signing Swiss players. You can't get much less Latino than Switzerland, can you? I don't know why they abandoned their all-Latino policy, but my guess is that they realized finding worthy Latino players in this country would be a lot harder than they expected. Chivas, by virtue of their size and popularity, might find it a bit easier going. But my guess is that they, too, will decide there's less there than meets the eye.

[ 25.02.2008, 20:51: Message edited by: Soccer Scrimmage ]

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Inca
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I'm not sure I completely agree. I think the biggest problem Chivas USA faced was that they underestimated MLS opposition, and changing coaches meant that the roster was overhauled. And was there a stated Latino-only policy ever, because while his name may sound like it, I don't think Brad Guzan is Latino, and there were some plain white Americans on the team from Day 1.

I think one of the biggest challenges in having more American Latino players in MLS is the college draft system. There simply aren't all that many poorer, inner-city Latino soccer players going to play NCAA ball, but there are a fair number of guys on established amateur club teams. MLS teams don't really scout in that area. I think if there is a dedication to building up a youth system for MLS teams, more Latino players will be seen going into the MLS system.

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