Before the season started, I was looking at the Galaxy roster and realized that there was not a single Hispanic player on the club. In fact, I think Landon Donovan spoke the most Spanish of any player on the club and he's not exactly Hispanic.
During the preseason, I ran into Mauricio Cienfuegos, a Galaxy legend. I'd put Cienfuegos number two in terms of legendary Galaxy players behind Cobi Jones. That guy was amazing in so many ways.
Anyway, I asked him about the lack of Hispanic players on the Galaxy. I had intended to write a story on it for The Press-Enterprise, and in fact I did. The only problem was it kept getting held because the Ducks decided to win the Stanley Cup this year. So it got held and held and held some more.
Now that Carlos Pavon is joining the Galaxy, the story is dead. It'll have to take a new focus now if I want to resurrect it. I don't even know if I'll be able to use any of the Cienfuegos quotes I got anywhere at this point.
Well, anywhere but here.
Now, there were a lot of other interesting points I brought up in the Galaxy story that may or may not be included in the new-and-improved Hispanic story, such as when the Galaxy passed up a player in the draft who is a superstar now to take a local Hispanic talent who fizzled out. If that's not in my story for Saturday, then I'll make sure and put that in here.
Anyway, here's what Cienfuegos responded when I asked him what he thought of the absence of Hispanic players on his former club:
"It's sad. I'm not going to say otherwise. It's sad because you think that Latino players will always be a part of this club but for some reason they're getting away from that.
"That's fine, if that's the direction the coach wants to go in and the direction the front office wants to go in. Unfortunately, our people don't have players of their own to go see. Hopefully they recognize that when this league started the Latino community contributed immensely. To forget that now would be bad.
"Hopefully they bring in some Latino players so people will return to the stadium."
I then asked him if that thinking affected how he felt about the club.
"That love will always be there. The club transcends names and players. This club will always be in my heart."