"El Sueño" set for a reality check

Once an MLS novelty, Flores now prepared for bigger role in LA

Just before Chivas USA’s opening game against Colorado last
Friday, Jorge Flores had reason to celebrate. Not only was his name on the
teamsheet; he was in the starting XI.

Flores is something of a fan favorite at Chivas USA. After
winning the first-ever Sueño MLS reality-show tryout in the winter of 2007, the
Anaheim, Calif., native
was signed to the team’s official roster that summer.

Now at the start of his fourth season in the league, the man
most still call “Sueño” has begun the transition from wunderkind to impact
player. His place in Chivas USA’s starting XI could be a regularity in 2010,
and he will be asked to make a greater contribution on the field this year than
ever before.

“It’s a big, important change for me,” Flores told MLSsoccer.com. “It’s
something I’ve always wanted. Now I just have to keep working hard to keep my
position in that starting 11.”

Flores played the first half of the season-opener against Colorado. And while he
didn’t have as much success going forward as he would have liked, he displayed
the tireless defensive hustle that makes him a terrible nuisance to opposing
attackers.

“I thought my first game went pretty well,” Flores said after
practice on Monday. “There are improvements that I can make, but I had the
right mentality. I work very hard on behalf of the team. In every situation,
I’m ready and willing to do whatever it takes to help the team win.”

One promising aspect of Flores’ game against Colorado was
his partnership with left back Ante Jazic. The two created a few good chances
with overlapping runs and looked very comfortable playing together.

“Ante is a great player,” said Flores.
“We played well together in preseason, and we have a good understanding between
us. I think we make a good pair.”

Flores, Jazic, and the rest of Chivas USA will get another
shot at their first points of the 2010 season on Thursday evening when they
take on their in-stadium rival Los Angeles Galaxy in the first leg of this
year’s Super Clásico.

This is the first clash between the two Los Angeles squads
since the Galaxy booted Chivas from the postseason last fall.

“It was sad not to get win [against Colorado],” Flores said.
“But this Thursday we can get back to work and find a victory.”