[FOUR THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT ...] Youth development has been a big part of the Chivas USA program since the MLS club's launch in 2004, and it has signed its
youngest player to a pro contract, 16-year-old midfielder Marco Antonio “Marky” Delgado. For four things to know about Delgado ...
COSMOS PRODUCT. Delgado grew up playing in the Pomona United Youth Soccer League and moved to the Cosmos West Academy when he was 14. But the next year, he joined U.S. Soccer's U-17 residency program, where he spent two semesters before returning home. By this time, Chivas USA had absorbed the Cosmos West Academy and Delgado was back training with the first team.
BRIGHT FUTURE. Chivas USA head coach Robin Fraser has been impressed with Delgado. “He is a player who immediately stood out as a very solid player," said Fraser, "and we’ve had him training with us for quite a while now and you can even see over the last couple of months how much he has developed. He has great ideas on the ball, a very soft first touch, and he has really picked up the pace at this level quickly. He is definitely one that we expect a bright future from.”
PARENTAL SUPPORT. Delgado's mother, Mireya, drives Marky with his younger sister Ruby in tow from Glendora, where they live, to Chivas USA's home at the Home Depot Center in Carson. It's a commute of 40-plus miles -- each way -- so his mother stays in Carson for practice to end before they return home. “All of the things that we’ve been through and all the sacrifices he’s made, they’re paying off,” Mireya Delgado told cdchivasusa.com. “Now it’s up to Marky to work hard and take advantage of this amazing opportunity.”
WAIT TIME. Delgado, who is a high school junior, won't be available for selection until he has fulfilled all MLS's homegrown-player training requirements in August. In the meantime, he'll continue to play for Chivas USA's reserve team.