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If you’re not Mexican and play for Chivas USA … start packing!

Feb 14, 2013, 8:20 PM EDT

Chivas USA v Seattle Sounders Getty Images

The exodus continues at Chivas USA, which has traded two more talented men who don’t fit the clubs new-old developmental model, which is to cultivate the talent of Mexican heritage.

A day ago, Chivas USA traded Ben Zemanski, a versatile midfielder who averaged 24 games a season over his first three years in Southern California. Zemanski went to Portland in exchange for allocation money and the MLS rights for sometimes U.S. international Jonathan Bornstein.

The deciders in Chivas USA land are, at least, smart enough to retain All-Star goalkeeper Dan Kennedy. So far at least.

Bornstein started at Chivas, and he fits the club’s new personnel mandate. As the elusive “allocation money” is never disclosed, this one makes some sense. Some.

But not so with James Riley, who has moved today to D.C. United.

Chivas essentially gave the guy away.

So they join Nick LaBrocca, Shalrie Joseph, Casey Townsend, Danny Califf and Peter Vagenas as those expelled under the new way. We can debate if this purge is right … but they really need to extract value where they can, and not makes themselves the Dollar Store of MLS.

What did D.C. United have to give up for a 32-game starter in 2012? A second-round pick in the 2015 MLS supplemental draft, which is getting close to the “insult zone” for a seven-year starter in MLS.

From Washington, the Soccer Insider (a.k.a. The Washington Post’s Steven Goff) reported that Chivas USA will continue to pay a heavy portion of Riley’s $125,000 salary. So, it was essentially a roster dump.

Riley was never a game-changer, not at Chivas not in previous stops at Seattle and New England. Still, he’s a veteran, typically popular with local fans and now looks like the quintessential depth provider – especially if someone else is paying most of the freight.

  1. krimsonyx - Feb 14, 2013 at 8:43 PM

    White folks love to “play the race card” now-a-days. Sorry, but it’s likely no one will be as racist as whites have been in the past and present. CDUSA can trade who they want. I sounds like Chivas wants to play a pass and move style. Riley doesn’t fit that style. He isn’t good with the ball at his feet. Plain and simple…

    • pensfan603 - Feb 14, 2013 at 10:21 PM

      Your kidding right, they said they only want mexican americans on their team, im not saying this is wrong, but this move was a roster dump and insulting to a veteran of his stature, and their is no way Kennedy isnt on the way out, how would you like to be the sore thumb of the team..

      • randomhookup - Feb 15, 2013 at 9:32 AM

        I will stand up and say it’s wrong. Hiring people (which is really what this is) based on heritage is generally illegal. It takes a pretty big justification to only hire Mexican-Americans for any business.

    • nygiantstones - Feb 14, 2013 at 10:40 PM

      Still an interesting trend, no? Is it merely coincidence that the non-Mexican players are all being removed? If they end up having an entire team made up of Mexican-Americans then I don’t see how they can’t be sued for some kind of discrimination. What would people be saying if Seattle was removing all non-white players? Would the justification for removal based on skill sets stand up in the court of public opinion? I get what they’re doing in terms of marketing to a population of millions of Mexicans and Mexican-Americans in California, but I think it sets a dangerous precedent of exclusion. Reminds me of the club in Russia or the Ukraine who’s fans were posting messages about not wanting to sign what amounted to non-whites. There was a bit of an uproar over that, if I recall correctly. Unless the “media” that pointed them out were all minorities, then I think you’re creating a double standard. The media can point out a white team excluding non-whites, but can’t point out a Mexican-American team excluding non Mexican-Americans? Sorry man, you sound bitter and misinformed.

      • bruiserbrigade - Feb 1, 2015 at 1:55 PM

        Terrible example. They were not signing based on skin color but nationality. The right example would have been a US club hiring only Americans. Which doesn’t sound that bad now does it?

    • drewvt6 - Feb 15, 2013 at 2:06 PM

      white folks play the race card? …wow… stereotype much?

    • katdohr - Aug 5, 2013 at 11:57 PM

      It’s racism even if your a Mexican. It’s un-American too, and illegal. If you want to have an all Mexican team stay in Mexico. We don’t play that shit here. If you don’t think it’s racist then watch Real Sports. All the players are required to fill out a form that says where your Mom and Dad are born. Also “it’s likely no one will be as racist as whites have been in the past and present” – what are you adding up all the racist bullshit done by one group and then justifying the racism of another group based on the amount? No one deserves to be denied opportunities because of their race. Plain and Simple. Also Chivas team blows now, lack of diversity- not enough variety.

  2. dfstell - Feb 14, 2013 at 8:51 PM

    I don’t really see anything Chivas is doing as racist. I’d love it if another MLS club decided to be only USMNT-eligible players. It would give them an identity and showcase the diversity in our country.

    My only comment on Chivas right now is that they remind me of some career modes in FIFA I’ve played where I was trying to recreate a USMNT team on an EPL club or something and was ditching guys left and right.

    • pensfan603 - Feb 14, 2013 at 10:23 PM

      This is a terrible idea i want good team and a competitive league doing that just makes it less legit of a league, and less competitive

      • dfstell - Feb 15, 2013 at 9:52 AM

        I’m not saying the whole league should make this switch….just one team. Make it a smaller market team that is going to have a hard time being competitive anyway. Let them do something bold and different instead of being an also-ran.

    • randomhookup - Feb 15, 2013 at 9:29 AM

      Since it’s not legal to hire (or refuse to hire) people based on heritage (which in the US includes citizenship), I’m not sure how you think either is legal.

      • dfstell - Feb 15, 2013 at 9:54 AM

        I don’t know if this applies. It isn’t MLS refusing to hire qualified international workers, it’s just one division of MLS (i.e. one club) basically trading away all their international slots to other divisions of MLS (i.e. all the other clubs) for more allocation money or whatever. It’s still the same number of jobs and still the same overall division of American/non-American in the whole workforce. Nobody is discriminating against non-Americans in this system.

  3. drewvt6 - Feb 15, 2013 at 12:29 AM

    Remember in Napoleon Dynamite when the principle had to have the talk with Pedro about hanging the pinata of his opponent…think its about time el Don has the talk with Mr Viagra (btw i know how to spell his name)

  4. randomhookup - Feb 15, 2013 at 12:19 PM

    @dfstell — It ends up being for a court to decide, but suppose a big business said they would only hire Lithuanians for their engineering department (without a real valid reason). Do you seriously think that would pass muster with the court, even if the employer didn’t have an overall discrimination problem & the overall number of “non-Lithuanians” stayed steady?

    You can’t discriminate in hiring for a position or group of positions based on nationality (some exceptions exist, but you have to prove it’s a real qualification for the job, such as the person needs to be able to work a certain number of months in a foreign location without needing a work permit). Whether the employer is technically MLS or CUSA, it comes down to how you conduct your hiring practices. Using ethnicity to select is a problem.

    IANAL, but I do work with this issue all the time & have been at it for over 20 years.

    BTW, MLS _can_ refuse to hire international workers — that’s legal. They just can’t refuse to hire Americans (and Green Card holders) based on ethnicity (or only hire internationals from one country).

  5. charliej11 - Feb 15, 2013 at 6:26 PM

    I just read that the Sounders would only have green eyed guys on their team and the Red Bulls are only going with red heads.
    Limiting yourself in anything really is not very smart. CUSA will get crushed again this year. They might want to win it all and then start limiting themselves to only a few choices.

  6. mvktr2 - Feb 16, 2013 at 4:36 AM

    I would respect it if CUSA said something to the effect of we’re going to focus on players from our region, maintain strong bonds with our sister club and a inclusive effort to make this a Mexican-American friendly club but will not limit ourselves from going after the best and brightest to put a winning product on the field. That approach would be inclusive, but would make sense in honoring 1st Chivas G traditions but recognizing a different multi-cultural dynamic and league setup. 2nd it would seek loyalty to the region/fans it’s serving no matter their ethnicity pulling developmental players from multiple ethnicities yet would simply naturally have a strong hispanic/Mexican influence due to both where it’s located and it’s strong connection with Chiv G. Lastly they wouldn’t come off as being racially exclusive by also committing to bringing in whomever/whatever they needed to be successful.

    Translation: Mexican-American focused but also loyal to all area fans and potential players irregardless of ethnicity = okay.
    Mexican-American focused and being closed to other influences except when absolutely necessary = juvenile.

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