Macías is latest in long line of Chivas exports

J.J. Macías and Getafe team president Angel Torres hold up the former Chivas' new jersey. (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
J.J. Macías and Getafe team president Angel Torres hold up the former Chivas' new jersey. (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /
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Chivas exports
Former Chivas defender Carlos Salcedo (right) made his Serie A debut against AC Milan on Sept. 25, 2016. (Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP via Getty Images) /

Experience gained, but little else earned for Chivas

There were high hopes for playmaking midfielder Ulises Dávila after he starred on Mexico’s Under-20 team, leading El Tri to the Concacaf title before struggling at the World Cup even though Mexico finished third.

Upon returning to Guadalajara, Dávila signed a five-year contract with Chelsea but never played with the Blues. Club management farmed “Uli” out to gain experience and playing time, but he kicked around in lesser leagues (Eredivisie with Vitesse, then playing in Spain’s second division with Sabadell, Córdoba and Tenerife, before ending his European tour with Portuguese second-division club Vitoria) before returning briefly to Mexico to play with Santos Laguna. The Chivas considered re-signing their former prodigy in 2018, but Dávila did not impress at his tryout. He has since found stardom on the other side of the world, first playing in the India Super League before earning MVP honors in the Australian A-League where he currently plays with Macarthur FC.

In 2014, 18-year-old goalie Raúl Gudiño was sent on loan to FC Porto where he played well enough for the club’s second-division team that he was signed to a three-year contract. The lanky netminder did not see much playing time in first division though he did spend a valuable year as a back-up to Iker Casillas. Porto loaned him out to Cyprus club Apoel de Nicosia where he saw action in the UEFA Champions League in 2017. Gudiño returned to the Chivas in June 2018 where he has competed with José Antonio Rodríguez for the starting spot.

Marco Fabián debuted with the Chivas in 2008 as an 18-year-old. He helped Guadalajara reach the 2010 Copa Libertadores Final and scored twice against Barcelona in the 2011 World Football challenge. The following year he was given the Chivas’ coveted No. 10 jersey. Marco was a starter on Mexico’s Olympic Gold medal-winning team in 2012, but disciplinary issues cut short his tenure with the Chivas.

The Guadalajara native signed a three-year deal with Eintracht Frankfurt in December 2015, quickly demonstrating that he had the talent to be a star in the Bundesliga. However, injuries derailed that promise – he played more than 11 games only once in his four years in Germany – and he is now back in Liga MX with FC Juárez.

The next three Chivas players to cross the pond were defender Carlos Salcedo (in 2016), midfielder Carlos “Gullit” Peña (in 2017) and defender Oswaldo Alanis (in 2018). These three were the only players among the 15 being discussed here who were not products of the Chivas academy.

Salcedo started in the Tigres system before moving to Real Salt Lake in MLS at the age of 19. Also a Guadalajara native, he spent two years in Utah before the Chivas signed him. The sturdy defender played three seasons for “El Rebaño Sagrado” before being sent on loan to Fiorentina, playing 18 games during his one year in Serie A. From there, Salcedo joined Marco Fabián in Frankfurt, playing parts of two seasons, the second of which was interrupted by personal issues that prompted a return to Mexico where he joined the Tigres, playing well enough to earn a spot on the national team.

“Gullit” Peña starred at León after emerging from Pachuca’s renowned academy. He helped the Esmeraldas win two Liga MX titles before joining the Chivas in 2016. “Gullit” never lived up to his reputation in Guadalajara and struggled with off-the-field issues. In 2017, Vergara sold Peña to Glasgow Rangers but he never recovered his form and faded from view, currently playing in El Salvador.

Next up is the saga of Oswaldo Alanis, a star on the Chivas team that won the double in 2017. The crafty defender started his career with cross-town rivals UAG and played three years with Santos Laguna before joining Guadalajara in 2015. After winning the Copa MX and the Liga MX in 2017, Alanis had several protracted battles with Vergara over wages that resulted in threats of legal action (for breach of contract). In 2018, the Chivas owner decided to cut his losses and transfer him. A deal with La Liga’s Getafe fell through after the Spanish club made a coaching change and Vergara brokered a two-year contract with Real Oviedo in Spain’s second division.

Alanis spent just one year in Spain, returning to play with the Chivas for one season before he was loaned out to MLS club San Jose Earthquakes where he was re-united with Matías Almeyda, the coach who guided Guadalajara to the double in 2017. In December, San Jose renewed its loan deal and the feisty defender is spending another season in MLS.

The final European transfer during Jorge Vergara’s reign involved defender Bryan Salazar who was 21 at the time the deal was made in September 2019. Another Guadalajara native, Salazar showed early promise playing for Mexico’s Under-17 team but became frustrated at his lack of playing time with the Chivas’ first team.

Next. El Tri favored to defend Gold Cup title. dark

Salazar’s agent helped push for a transfer abroad and Guadalajara obliged, sending him to Portugal’s Feirense. The youngster fared well, but did not shine, and after one season he was sent to Spanish second-division side Real Murcia. One year further on and Salazar has made his way back to Mexico where he will play next season in the Liga de Expansión MX with Atlético Morelia.