Mayen impresses with reserves, hungry for more
CARSON, Calif -- Chivas USA's midfield is firing on all cylinders these days, developing a dominant possession game that is quickly developing into one of the most feared in MLS.
And Gerson Mayen wants in on the action.
Mayen shined in the Rojiblancos’ 3-1 reserve league SuperClasico victory over the LA Galaxy reserves on Tuesday, providing the assist for Victor Estupinan’s early goal and Chris Cortez’s capper that iced the win for Chivas USA.
He was dangerous throughout the match, showing crisp passing that created numerous scoring opportunities for the Rojiblancos and proving why he remains an option in the Rojiblancos’ packed midfield.
"He was good, he shows a lot of inventiveness, he's got a lot of ideas," Chivas USA Head Coach Robin Fraser said. "I thought he did a good job today."
With the midfield starting to click, first-team minutes have been difficult to come by for the former Chivas USA youth team star. He’s logged a combined 45 minutes in two appearances this season, only two seasons removed from a career-high 12 appearances in 2009.
He’s also one of the most experienced players on the reserve team, which included seven Chivas USA youth academy members on Tuesday. Mayen, 21, has taken his leadership role in stride, providing guidance for these developing professionals, but he admits that he is not with the reserves to be a teacher.
He’s there to show the coaching staff that he deserves time with the first team.
"I'm trying to get some minutes with the first team, and this is where it starts, here with the reserves," he said."I just need to prove to the coaches that I can play and I think that I've been doing well with the reserves and hopefully the coaches notice that."
Mayen’s immediate goal is convince the coaches he’s worthy of first-team minutes by May 22, when Chivas USA take on the Galaxy in the first SuperClasico matchup of the season against the Galaxy.
For Mayen, who grew up less than 15 minutes from The Home Depot Center in South Central Los Angeles, any victory against the Galaxy is significant, no matter the context.
"It's still a Clasico and is still Galaxy vs. Chivas, and that rivalry is still going to be there whether it's reserve team or first team," said Mayen. "Thank God that we beat them.”
Adam Serrano covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter: @adamserrano