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Meet Chivas

July 28, 2007|JAIME CaRDENAS

PROBABLE STARTERS FOR TONIGHT'S MATCH:

* Luis Ernesto Michel -- A rising star in the Mexican league. He's not young, 28, but until last year had started only three games. He replaced Oswaldo Sanchez nicely by helping the team reach the league semifinals.

*--* GOALKEEPER

*--*

*--* DEFENDERS

*--*

* Jonny Magallon -- Another rising star. Magallon, 25, was one of six Chivas players with the Mexican national team at the Gold Cup and Copa America.

* Edgar Mejia -- With two more starts, he will have as many starts (17) as he does years (19). He is young but has proven to be a vital player on the team. He plays right back and defensive midfielder.

* Hector Reynoso -- He is known for two things, his strength and long hair. No surprise the Mexican media often refers to him as "Samson." Reynoso, 26, was the team's captain in absence of Ramon Morales and Omar Bravo in the SuperLiga game against FC Dallas.

* Francisco Javier Rodriguez -- One of 10 starters under the age of 30. Rodriguez, 25, nicknamed "Maza" because he is from Mazatlan, was one of six players to play for Mexico during Copa America. He also played for Mexico during last year's World Cup in Germany.

*--* MIDFIELDERS

*--*

* Patricio Araujo -- Araujo, 19, was captain of Mexico's squad that won the U-17 World Cup in Peru in 2005. He was also Mexico's captain at the recent U-20 World Cup in Canada. He figures prominently in the club's plans and he recently rejected an offer by a European team.

* Omar Arellano -- He is Guadalajara's newest addition, and only addition, to the upcoming Apertura. Arellano, 20, had been with Pachuca the previous three years, where he scored three goals in 19 games. His father, who coached at Chivas, recently got hired by Atletico Madrid to be an assistant to Coach Javier Aguirre.

* Ramon Morales -- The only starter who is over 30. Morales, 31, has been with Guadalajara since 1999. He has earned his stripes and the team's captain armband as well. He was given the armband after the departure of Sanchez last season. Played for Mexico in Copa America. Morales showed he still has some kick left in his leg when he scored on a free kick in Mexico's 2-0 victory against Brazil.

* Gonzalo Pineda -- Pineda was one of six Chivas players on the Mexican team at Copa America this year. He scored a goal this year to put Chivas in the CONCACAF Champion's Cup final, which it lost to Pachuca.

*--* FORWARDS

*--*

* Sergio Santana -- Last year, Santana mainly came off the bench to replace the departed Adolfo Bautista. He has scored five goals in 56 games. He'll probably start in place of the injured Alberto Medina.

* Omar Bravo -- The most prolific scorer in the Mexican league the last two seasons. Bravo, 27, has scored 11 goals in 17 games, including five in five league games in February. He is the third-best scorer in the club's history with 85 goals. Last year, in the World Cup, Bravo scored two goals for Mexico against Iran. His performance last season and the season before, when he finished second in goals, and the World Cup, established him as a fan favorite. He was with Mexico during Copa America.

*--* OFF THE BENCH

*--*

* Alberto Medina (forward) -- A fast and agile player who's fun to watch. Played for Mexico at Copa America. Medina, 24, will not take part in SuperLiga after undergoing knee surgery Monday. He will be out four to six weeks and will sit out the start of the season.

* Omar Esparza (defender) -- A Guadalajara native, Esparaza, 19, was part of the U-17 Mexico team that won the U-17 World Cup in 2005 and, more recently, participated in the U-20 World Cup in Canada.

* Javier Ledesma (defender) -- Ledesma, 19, was with Mexico's U-20 in Canada. He is the son of Chivas' legendary goalkeeper Javier "Zully" Ledesma.

* Antonio Olvera (defender) -- With Chivas playing without its national team members, Olvera, 21, played a lot. In the first game of SuperLiga, Olvera scored Chivas' lone goal in a 1-1 draw with FC Dallas.

* Jesus Padilla (forward) -- Known as "El Gringo," Padilla, 20, is something of a rarity with Chivas. He was born in the state of Jalisco, where Chivas plays, but raised in San Jose. He recently turned down an offer to play with the U.S. U-20 team in Canada to continue playing with Chivas.

-- JAIME CaRDENAS

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