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Cruz Azul presents MLS trio
December 23rd, 2013 12:23AM
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TAGS:  americans abroad, mexico


[AMERICANS ABROAD] Mexican club Cruz Azul presented three MLS players -- U.S. U-20 star Jose Villarreal (LA Galaxy), former U.S. U-17 midfielder Michael Farfan (Philadelphia) and Mexican midfielder Rafael Baca (San Jose) -- among its six new signings for Liga MX's Torneo Clausura that begins Jan. 3.

MLS Careers:
Jose Villarreal (age: 20) GP: 32, G: 3, A: 3.
Michael Farfan (age: 25) GP: 82, G: 4, A: 9.
Rafael Baca (age: 24), GP: 79, G: 2, A: 9.

Cruz Azul sporting director Agustin Manzo told reporters that he is friends with Curt Onalfo, who played in Mexico, and the LA Galaxy assistant had told him about the players. MLS clubs did not confirm the moves for players all still under contract.

All three players are of Mexican descent and will not count as foreigners in the Liga MX. Villarreal -- who grew up a household that supported Cruz Azul -- and Farfan -- whose twin brother plays for Chivas USA -- were born and raised in Southern California. Baca was born in the state of Michoacan and grew up in Villarreal's hometown of Inglewood.

La Maquina finished fourth in the Torneo Apertura and lost to Toluca in the quarterfinals of the playoffs. Following the fall campaign, Cruz Azul hired Luis Fernando Tena as head coach. Tena had coached Mexico Olympic team to the gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics and he had served as national team coach for Mexico's World Cup qualifier against the USA in September after José Manuel de la Torre was fired.

One of the players Cruz Azul signed for the Torneo Clausura is one of Tena's protege's Marco Fabian, from Guadalajara.

1 comment
  1. Peter Skouras
    commented on: December 23, 2013 at 11:29 a.m.
    It is such a joy that the Galaxy are not getting "credit" for Villareal's development. Actually, FIFA should soon be all over the Galaxy for 9 years of "Training Compensation" owed to the SB Force! I am positive the "arrogance" will emerge...however, FIFA Law is FIFA law...loads of other players in the same boat as Villareal...Zardes? Open up your check book Los Angeles...compensate the "pay to play" clubs so that families can really concentrate on their football rather than taking "bottles" to the Recycler to pay the outrageous fees for tournaments...oh, and yes, for "so-called "Coaching!" O Dear!

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