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Tough times at Tigres
by Paul Kennedy, January 5th, 2013 3:12AM

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TAGS:  americans abroad, mexico, under-20 world cup

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[AMERICANS ABROAD] Once upon a time, Mexican club Tigres was lauded as a model for developing or at least providing opportunities for Mexican-Americans. But the news out of Monterrey in recent days is not good. Highly touted teenagers Juan Pablo Ocegueda and Victor Garza have left the club. Once again, Jonathan Bornstein was placed on the Mexican draft list but was unable to find a new home, leaving him stuck on the Tigres' bench. And Jose Torres, recently signed after seven seasons at Pachuca, finds himself sidelined for the start of the Liga MX's Torneo Clausura.

Garza, a winger out of Edinburg, Texas, debuted for Tigres last season in the Libertadores Cup, while Ocegueda, a candidate for the U.S. under-20 national team at left back, suited up for the same competition.

Garza, 20, and Ocegueda, only 19, were among a dozen Mexican-Americans brought to Tigres by Dutchman Dennis te Kloese, who served as Tigres' academy director and was more recently the Mexican national team coordinator before being named sporting president for both Chivas USA and Chivas de Guadalajara.

Of the five young Mexican-Americans promoted to the Tigres' first team for preseason training in the summer of 2011 -- Moises Orozco, Uvaldo Luna, Daniel Navarro, Garza and Ocegueda -- only Luna is still with the club -- and he's switched allegiances to play for Mexico's U-20s.

Navarro suffered a concussion last year and did not return for the 2012 Torneo Apertura. Orozco and cousin Emilio Orozco also left last season. Moises Orozco had tryouts with Toronto FC and the Seattle Sounders but did not sign with either MLS club, while Emilio Orozco played for the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers in the NASL.

The competition at Tigres -- with the most expensive first team in Mexico -- is stiff, as Bornstein, born to an American father and Mexican mother, has discovered. He played seven games in the 2011 Torneo Clausura after signing from Chivas USA but has played just two games -- both in the 2012 Torneo Apertura -- in three championships since then.

Things were looking up for Torres after his transfer from Pachuca. He had been starting in midfield alongside Mexican star Carlos Salcido in preseason but a thigh injury will sideline him for two weeks.



28 comments
  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: January 7, 2013 at 11:05 a.m.
    So these kids were good enough to compete for a starting spot on the most expensive team in the Mexican league but not good enough to get signed with an MLS club? That just doesn't make sense. Tigress is a far superior team than any MLS team. Their bench could start on most, if not all, MLS teams.

  1. Gus Keri
    commented on: January 7, 2013 at 11:30 a.m.
    Or, maybe, MLS clubs saw something the Mexican club failed to recognize. Is it possible that the Mexican club was looking solely into the ethnic connection while MLS clubs cared more about the playing ability? This is why most of them are not playing now. Remember, not all who play the Latin style will end up as stars.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: January 7, 2013 at 12:14 p.m.
    Gus, does that really make sense to you? I never said that all that play the Latin style will end up stars, even though it does seem that they have a very high success rate throughout the world. You think Te Kloese just randomly picked a few players with an ethnic connection because that was what he was hired to do ? Not to mention that he is also a mexican National Team scout. That defies my logic. It makes more sense to me that these players were carefully picked but had the luck of competing for a spot on the "most expensive team in Mexico", which means that the least paid player on this team makes at least $500,000. Tigres is a top club in a better league than MLS. So your telling me an MLS team can't risk, oh let's say, $60,000-$80,000 for these scouted talents? It seems too many MLS teams would rather pay old Hispanic players Millions, then later bitch about them, than invest much less for these young and upcoming talents. Doesn't make sense to me.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: January 7, 2013 at 12:19 p.m.
    Given the success of Mexican National Teams at the highest levels and Te Kloese's involvement with that project, it is highly improbable that he picked these players just for an "ethnic connection" purpose. I can't see a club paying his high salary for that purpose.

  1. Gus Keri
    commented on: January 7, 2013 at 2:07 p.m.
    So, how come they didn't pick up any player who has no connection to Mexico? I am sure there are thousands of non-Mexican American players (white, black, Asian or whatever) who play the same style like they play in Mexico.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: January 7, 2013 at 2:43 p.m.
    I am sure as well, Gus. It could be because Te Kloese scouted for both, Tigres and National Mexican Team, at the same time. Therefore only MexicanAmerican Talents. Or it could be because the better talents that te Kloese scouted happened to all be MexicanAmerican. The Head Coach for Tigres is not Mexican. Either way fact is Tigres is a vastly superior team, player wise to any MLS team. If these players were good enough to get a look at Tigres top team, surely they are good enough to get an offer from one of the MLS clubs. Don't you agree, given the facts?

  1. Gordon Hayes
    commented on: January 7, 2013 at 3:05 p.m.
    Here we go again - Gus, don't worry about it - I'm sure you know Luis is blinded by his ethnic prejudice and hatred for America and any ethnicity other than hispanics - don't worry too much though - he never even played the game - just believes in his superiority based solely on his ethnicity and always remember he is a pathological liar so never believe anything he writes................Maybe I can help though translating what poor victim Luis really means - the MLS is a bunch of racist white Americans that are biased against Mexican-Americans or any hispanics and don't know anything about the game because they are not hispanic and can only play a non-skillful style of soccer.........................In reality maybe it is as simple as the fact these players just were not that good regardless of ethnicity - seems like both the Mexican league and the MLS saw that - it is such a pity there has to be that division and separation brought up............

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: January 7, 2013 at 4:21 p.m.
    Psychooo, get ready for about 20 copy and paste posts on me from Gordon. If you want to know what Gordon's about and the nature of his hipocracy simply ask me and I will redirect you to our first conversation. Otherwise, let's just all ignore him.

  1. Gordon Hayes
    commented on: January 7, 2013 at 4:28 p.m.
    Luis wrote last time "No more will I acknowledge your nonsense. Last time. I promise."...............hilarious - I guess his word and his promises don't mean anything to poor, poor victim Luis.

  1. Gus Keri
    commented on: January 7, 2013 at 4:43 p.m.
    MLS clubs have no ethnicity preferences. Throughout the history of MLS, they used players from all over the world. They have no particular hatred toward Mexicans. It just depends on who is the manager of the clubs. Eoropean maangers get more European players. South American managers prefer Latin players. Whichever player fits into their system of play. It's the nature of the beast. MLS hired so many Mexican players over the years; yet Mexican clubs have rarely hired an American player who doesn't have a connection to Mexico. The fact that most of the many players, hired by Tigres, now playing very scarcely suggests that MLS clubs knew what they were doing.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: January 7, 2013 at 6:06 p.m.
    Again Gus, I never said that MLS didn't pick these players because of their ethnicity. Nor did I say they hated Mexicans. I just wonder why these kids, who have accomplished consideration to play for a higher paying, higher level team in a higher level league, are not getting an offer on an MLS team? That's all. I did not make this racial. So can you answer given these facts?

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: January 7, 2013 at 6:19 p.m.
    Gus, actually there are 12 Americans playing in Mexico league, almost as many as in Europe. I don't believe Mexican teams are racist to nonhispanics. If they were I think they would stick to taking players born and raised in Mexico where there seems to be plenty of great talent coming out of, winning everything, instead of scouting Americans that most of the time don't speak fluent Spanish. This wasn't my argument. I am just entertaing your thought. It worries me that an inferior league team doesn't see the same talent wise as a superior league team.

  1. Gus Keri
    commented on: January 7, 2013 at 8:25 p.m.
    Luis, I answered your question with my first comment: "maybe, MLS clubs saw something the Mexican club failed to recognize." The fact that most of them are not playing regularly, now, indicates that they were not as good as you might think they were. And by the way, most of these 12 Americans playing in Mexico have a Mexican connection. I didn't say they are racist. The answer is more complicated than that. It might have a historical, social and economical basis.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: January 8, 2013 at 1:09 a.m.
    Gus, still doesnt make sense. If it were an inferior team in an inferior league, then yes, you have a good point. It's like chicharito not having a Mexican team to play for had he not cut it at Manchester U. Wouldnt make sense, huh? Oh wait the former coach at Chivas USA didnt think he was good enough when he had the chance to get him. Maybe his MLS "expertice" saw something Manchester or Mexico Chivas didnt?? Still doesnt make sense, now does it?? Good Point on most of the 12 but Beasley is one of very few to be having a solid presence on their teams. Plus Mexican teams in general are allowed less foreign players than the MLS does with their teams. My point was that MLS teams would rather pay millions to old close to retiring players that mostly will not merit their pay, playing wise, simply to make money marketing them to their older fans. If they wanted to improve and invest in a better style of play, maybe just maybe, players like these guys would get more of a chance.

  1. Gordon Hayes
    commented on: January 8, 2013 at 2:07 a.m.
    Gus - it is futile, Luis will never think anything other than his racist, ethnic divisive ways.........all poor, victim Luis is saying is, again, MLS is racist white guys and only hispanics know anything about soccer. He is still a little bitter his hero Rafa Marquez could not make it in the MLS and that the US holds a 11-5-3 record against Mexico since 2000 including their last victory at Azteca with very few regulars but to help you out more specifically this is what he thinks - these are direct quotes...."Very few in USA know much about soccer" and "You must admit that white people have not proven to be the most skilled with the the ball in the USA."

  1. Andres Leza
    commented on: January 8, 2013 at 11:01 a.m.
    Here is the easy simple answer Te Kloese is not with any MLS team, until now, to pick those players. Also, they may have not developed as expected. Being great at 14 or 15 does not translate you become a pro player! Also why should MLS teams want players that don't cut it at Tigres? Because they are on the reserve or youth side at a Tigres that does not naturally make them better than a kid playing for Sockers FC Academy, SLSG Academy or some no name youth team. They were only fortunate enough to be offered the opportunity to develop in a great environment. At the highest level the difference is minimal and subjective according to the coaches' preference for what is best for the team. There is no simple answer to a complex scenario (Rate of development, skills set, physical attributes, mental strength, type of other players on team, team style, versatility on field, etc... and yes that means ethnic attributes are considered - it can affect a players development). Just want to say that both Luis and Gordon need to quit the accusations & race baiting. Exchange emails and leave the rest of us out of it. I have been receiving this newsletter for years and have avoided commenting but it is now an inconvenience! Stop! Gordon, biases happen and it occurs, we are human accept it! Luis it doesn't always occur intentionally I would say is the exception rather than the norm and it isn't the only reason "Chicanos" like myself don't make it! How about just not good enough... I hope the two of you will move on and join us in the 21st century. With Respect, Andrés Leza

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: January 8, 2013 at 1:42 p.m.
    Andres, good points. I wish it were that simple but here are some more info that I personally encountered with Te Kloese last Spring in Chicago. He was scouting a then U14 player, Rigo Rojas, for the Mexican National Team and for Tigres at the NISL Premeirship League that plays in Schaumburg, Il. Less than a month after, he was placed on the USA National Team. The mother decided to not have Rigo move to Monterey, so it was an obvious choice. This could all be a huge coincidence. Either way Te Kloese interests seem to be the same as the USSF. The only reason that these players deserve a look is because Tigres is a superior team to any MLS team. It doesnt neccessarliy mean they will make it. I am willing to bet that Tigres developmental and scouting program are vastly superior to Socker's and SLSG for very simple reasons. Pay to play, therefore no or little scouting.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: January 8, 2013 at 1:54 p.m.
    Great players can come out of anywhere, of course!!! An entire National Team can come out of Illinois, that's also possible but highly improbable. Actually, the number of players that come out of California and East Coast are mysteriously consistent ratio on every one of our National teams U14, U15, U17, U20, U23. At the highest level is subject to what you are talking about. The highest level in USA is surely quite below quite a few countries. I used those players as an example. Every pro player is a gamble for a pro club. It just seems the greater % of budget wants to be invested in the over the hill players. I just beleive it is time to start investing in talent like those guys, not necessarily them. Young Blood. Chicharito was not wanted here because he was not deemed good enough. I bet you an Mls club will pay him millions to finish his career here when they could have got him cheaper and in his prime.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: January 8, 2013 at 2:01 p.m.
    Andres, It's has been hard to ignore Crazy Gordon but that's what I am doing now but please when reading his accusations of me just make sure you read and understand my points that most times are not accusing anyone of racism. One must ask questions to what is not well understood or makes little sense. Our people hesitate to ask or state an opinion, you should know this well. In the case of me and Gordy it is easy to sense who is full of hate. Ese guey esta loco!!

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: January 8, 2013 at 2:14 p.m.
    Usually, when you are fortunate enough to develop or tryout for a superior team is because you are at a higher level. Not all the time but mostly. Players are picked according to coaches preferences and style of play. So then you have to look at what style suits your pool, what style will sell the most tickets, and therefore what players will carry all this out. The Mexican League is the highest paying and profitable league in the entire continenet, which includes Brazil, Argentina and yes MLS. The Mexican Team is one of the highest profitable in the world. I'm guessing their success is due to style, successful scouting and development which is now targeting many Mexican American talent. I'm just saying. What better example do we need of success in the developmental, scouting and profits departments do we need ?

  1. Gordon Hayes
    commented on: January 8, 2013 at 6:37 p.m.
    Andres - good post,I like the part about "How about just not good enough." I do believe that racial and ethnic divide is a problem in our soccer culture and people like Luis thrive on it and, unfortunately, teach it to our youth. And he lies about everything. I cannot just sit back and read these posts and lies and divisiveness. I don't want some young coach, hispanic or otherwise, to be at all influenced by this kind of deceit and race-baiting. It is a small effort, but I just don't feel as though I can not do anything.

  1. Gordon Hayes
    commented on: January 8, 2013 at 6:49 p.m.
    Watch for Luis' lies...................(1). he is lying about the consistent ratio of where our national team players come from at all ages (for example the U15 MNT - 7 players in the pool from the Midwest, 9 from NY, NJ, and PA, 8 from the South)..................(2). Mexico and Brazil and Argentina are, of course, not on the same continent (I guess that is more stupidity than a lie)..............(3). And I am sure he is lying about the profitability of the Mexican League and the Mexican NT - he is probably just guessing because he cares nothing about truth and facts and honor...................(4). AND THE BIGGEST LIE OF ALL when he says he is not accusing anyone of racism - that is his whole life he is just too much of a pathetic coward to admit what he truly feels now which is "Racism still is very much alive and there are more reasons to believe it exists in Usa soccer than it doe not".....and......"When in fact we do get a majority of Hispanics on the usa natipnal teams we will then be a top soccer country. It is inevitable."

  1. Gordon Hayes
    commented on: January 8, 2013 at 6:53 p.m.
    Poor victim Luis has badmouthed the MLS, the US MNT, the entire US Soccer staff, every youth club, every youth coach, every European coach and is doing so here - he thinks it is "funny" when the US loses and he so hopes they do. All of his posts on this article are saying that MLS is racist for not picking these hispanics and this lunatic should be shut up and never allowed to coach. I know Gus, you and Andres are basically saying the same thing but I am tired of this kind of person in our soccer culture and the worst part of it all is he NEVER EVEN PLAYED THE GAME.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: January 9, 2013 at noon
    Midwest is comprised of 12 states that consistently get less numbers than those 3 states on East Coast. Gordy conveineiently left out California who has 17 out of 48 total on U15 pool. I didnt know it was a test but ok, you are right. So that makes the Mexican league the highest paid league and most profitable from both the North and South American Continents.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: January 9, 2013 at 12:13 p.m.
    U14 36 Player Pool - California=10, N.Y./N.J./PA=12,East Coast Total=16, Midwest(12 States)=1

  1. Gordon Hayes
    commented on: January 9, 2013 at 1:24 p.m.
    Haha - Luis is such a freaking liar, he wrote.... "No more will I acknowledge your nonsense. Last time. I promise." - maybe since he does not know what continent his own country belongs to maybe he does not what it means to tell the truth???? It is possible, hilarious..........And now he is changing his story again whereas he said "....on every one of our National teams......" and, of course, that is not the case with the U15's nor the 17's - latest U17 roster - 5 players from the Midwest, 2 from NY, NJ, or PA, 4 from CA................So the moral continues to be NEVER BELIEVE ANYTHING LUIS WRITES and someone in Illinois please, for the sake of the kids, make sure the parents of his racially-segregated club know this!

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: January 9, 2013 at 2:42 p.m.
    The Ratio is what is consistent as seen with U14 and U15 Selections. With U17's the latest roster consists of 20 players. The 2009 U17 40 player Roster : California=10, NY/NJ/PA=5, Midwest (12 states)=6. Extremely consistent except for very few exceptions.

  1. Gordon Hayes
    commented on: January 9, 2013 at 4:53 p.m.
    Luis wrote ""No more will I acknowledge your nonsense. Last time. I promise." Maybe he doesn't know what the word promise means.....what a liar......He first said few players from the Midwest on ANY younger national teams, now he says East Coast, but first he said NY area, and now he is using a roster from 2009 - who the hell knows what this liar means - he still thinks Mexico is part of South America. Always remember posters LUIS IS A PATHOLOGICAL LIAR AND HE NEVER PLAYED THE GAME.


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