Villafaña: “Nothing is impossible”
Seven players from Chivas USA’s Youth Academy have been signed with to the club’s First Team and there are many more to come. And this Sunday, every player from the team’s Academy will be in attendance to see what one day they can achieve: play soccer professionally against some of the top players in the nation.
One current First Team player that would know what the Academy players are going through is defender/midfielder Jorge Villafaña. After winning the first ever ‘Sueño MLS’ contest in March 2007, Villafaña continued looking for a spot in the First Team while playing with Chivas USA’s U19 squad. After participating in a youth tournament with the Academy in Mexico, Villafaña finally got the opportunity he had been working for: earning a contract with the First Team.
“The Academy was a good experience for me to develop as a player,” said Villafaña. “It’s a good experience for all the young players and if they know how to take advantage, they can get to be a part of the [first] team.”
Since then, his life has been a whirlwind. Villafaña has played a total of 63 games (45 starts), notching 5 goals with the Red-and-White. But Villafaña has not only stood out at club level, but internationally as well, being called to the U.S. Youth National Teams, most recently to the U23 Olympic hopeful squad.
“It’s hard, but nothing is impossible,” Villafaña said. “If you attend every training session, you’re on time, always work hard, and listen to the coaches, you can achieve whatever you want. And if you get the opportunity to come to the first team, don’t let it go to waste.”