Chivas offer up-close workout for locals

Goats head to Lake Elsinore leading up to DCU match

May 23 PITC IMage 1

Photo Credit: 
Juan Miranda/Chivas USA

Fewer than 16 hours after Chivas USA’s tough 2-1 loss to Real Salt Lake on Saturday evening, the team was back in training. The Goats traveled to Lake Elsinore, a town an hour southeast of Los Angeles for a Sunday morning practice session in front of local fans.

The event is part of Chivas USA’s “Practice in the Community” series, which was launched in early 2008. The team travels to various communities in Los Angeles and holds a traditional practice session followed by an autograph session for local fans.

“It’s important for our club to be out in the community,” said Chivas USA defender Mariano Trujillo. “Practicing like this lets the community come out and see us and helps to build strong relationships between the team and the fans.”

Sunday morning’s session featured hundreds of fans of all ages, many of whom sported Chivas de Guadalajara and Chivas USA jerseys. The event was done in association with the Lake Elsinore Youth Soccer League, which brought a great number of young players to see the Goats go through their paces.

“I’m really happy to see a lot of kids out here,” said Trujillo. “These kids will be the future of American soccer, and could one day be the supporters of Chivas USA.”

Chivas USA held an autograph session after the practice, meeting with fans and taking pictures.

“I always like meeting the fans and hearing them talk about us,” said Justin Braun, who scored Chivas USA’s lone goal on Saturday evening. “It’s kind of a surreal feeling to know that they look up to you so much.”

Sunday morning won’t be the last time that the Lake Elsinore community gets a chance to see Chivas USA. The Red-and-White will hold “Lake Elsinore Night” on July 3rd, which will feature a fireworks display and plenty of Lake Elsinore locals involved in the evening’s festivities.

“We have a lot of fans that support us that aren’t able to see us all the time,” Braun said of the Lake Elsinore residents. “They really appreciate us coming out and practicing. It’s good for the team and it’s good for the fans.”

Chivas USA return to action on the road against D.C. United on May 29.