Francisco Mendoza is the only player to come from Mexico in the first year of Chivas USA's existence who still survives (thrives, actually) with the team today.
Jaime Cardenas has the scoop on how Mendoza could be leaving.
I'm still skeptical about how this would all work out for Chivas USA without a DP slot (they sold theirs to NY Red Bull for three years for the Amado Guevara fiasco). I guess with Mendoza gone and with the salary cap room the team has now (Jesse Marsch alluded to it last night) the team might be able to offer Morales an impressive enough salary even without the DP exemption.
I told Billy Witz that for all the people who think an added designated player slot would be for the L.A. Galaxy's benefit, it would actually help a team like Chivas USA more. The Galaxy would basically use an extra slot to keep Landon Donovan and David Beckham. Essentially, it would be the same team they have now.
Chivas USA, though, after trading away their slot, could use an extra one to really transform their team - bringing in a big-name Mexican player and adding depth to the squad. Morales is a quality player, but the team really needs depth at forward. Razov isn't getting any younger.
I don't think the extra DP slot will happen next year, though. I do think those acting like it's a capitulation to the Galaxy's needs are missing out on the big picture of who else could really benefit.
Anyway, back to Panchito (oops, not supposed to call him that, sorry). I talked to him last night and asked how he felt he'd grown with the team. He smiled and said, yes, he's actually quite a bit taller than he was when he started with Chivas USA. I was tripping over myself explaining that wasn't exactly what I meant, but he was just joking with me.
Mendoza also mentioned that, despite some of his teammates complaining about the MLS playoff format, he much prefers it to the single table option. "It's just more exciting," he said.