Sunday, March 16, 2008

What does it mean to be Mexican/American?

David Keyes takes a look at how the Jesus Padilla situation has affected the identity of Chivas Guadalajara, which has made it official now that it's not Mexican-born that matters, but whether one is born eligible for Mexican citizenship (people born into the citizenship of another country must later apply for Mexican citizenship through their parents).

Though some may think that Luis and I blew this story open, I'd point out that Chivas was clearly moving in that direction (signing foreign-born Mexican players) anyway. Even if people don't believe our source who told us that the Chivas administrators knew very well that Jesus was born and raised in San Jose, California, when they signed him at 14, one only has to look at the fact that the club brought in Carlos Borja quite a while before we broke the story about Jesus Padilla.

Borja not only was born and grew up in the U.S., but he developed and played with the U.S. youth national teams for years. That's documented and well-known. Chivas might have thought they could sneak Padilla into their roster without anyone ever checking his birthplace (and it DID work for a while), but there's no way they could get away with trying that with Borja. It's hard to buy that Chivas would waste time signing him with their Tapatio reserve team unless they were looking ahead to changing the "Mexican-born" policy anyway.

If you read Grahame's article, his opinion of Michael Orozco as the best player on the field for the U.S. versus Honduras is clear. Mexican reporters told me that they think Edgar Castillo has been the best player for Mexico at the U23 games out here. Thing is, their positions could've been reversed - Castillo could have played for the U.S. and Orozco for Mexico.

Who will "Gringo" Padilla end up playing for? Who knows.


Gabriel in Argentina said...

How long before all you need to be is a Mexican citizen? Does anyone see Franco suiting up in the red stripes in the future?

Anonymous said...

hopefully Padilla does not choose to play for the US, because It would go against everything that AMERICA stand for. I would never be able to wear a US jersey again. I already can't stand the fact that orozco is on the team. There are millions of other Hispanics player including myself who would die to put on a US jersey, I don't need our colors to be tarnished because of that wannabe mexican who can speak spanish as well as George bush. Please Padilla choose to represent "LA Gallinas Verdes".

A.C. said...

Padilla and Orozco aren't wannabes - they are Mexican. They're also American. The U.S. has a long tradition of players with double-nationality.

Anonymous said...

So, this is presumably good news for Jonathan Bornstein, he of the Mexican mother and US father, as he can now play for Big Chivas, a team tht is undoubtedly aware of him.

One has to think this change in philosophy by Big Chivas was a long-time in the planning and perhaps was a key reason why the team decided to delve into MLS and do so in a large market with a LOT of potential Mexican-American players.

Anonymous said...

Orozco sure looked like he was very proud to be an American in the two games he played so far in qualifying. He certainly has represented the colors well and definitely stood up for himself, his teammates and his country with aplomb and skill.

As a middle-aged Gringo whose parents can't pronounce quesadilla with the phonetic Y, it makes me quite happy to see the Mexican-Americans reflected in our national team pool.

I hope there are plenty more to follow.