He's not exactly new in town but Panchito Mendoza has only been training with Chivas de Guadalajara for about a week but already he's seen some game action and lived through some moments that had long been dreams of his.
Mural featured Mendoza in a story that ran this morning and here's some of the highlights:
On his ability to play in the Mexican First Division, Panchito responded: "I feel like I am a player who is ready and mature and the only thing now is to have a chance to prove it. But I've always had that in my mind and in my thoughts. A professional player should always challenge himself."
Mendoza is from nearby El Salto, Jalisco, and he got his professional start with Chivas back when Mendoza was in his early teens. A move to Chivas USA in 2005 would ultimately lead to success, a new kind of success for Mexicans in MLS. Mexican soccer players in general have had varied levels of production in the league but Mendoza's is unique as he has only played for an MLS team.
"Just the fact that they've invited me to train with them makes me proud and that motivates me. It's just another challenge in my life that I have to take seriously. Hopefully things work out, either here with Guadalajara or in MLS."
Of all his compatriots, Mendoza is the one who has seen the most game time in Major League Soccer. This will be his fifth year as a professional soccer player no matter where he lines up. But he got some chills before entering Saturday's friendly against Necaxa in Estadio Jalisco.
"More so because it was against a First Division team, so it had the feel of a real game. At first I was nervous but little by little it went away, I got used to the game and tried to do what the coach asked of me."
With only one week of training under his belt, Mendoza has nevertheless seen much difference between leagues.
"Tactically it is 100 percent different. In MLS, there is absolutely zero tactical work. Here, there is a lot more tactical work. In addition, there are players here who are more capable technically and tactically."
As far as whether his stay in Guadalajara will be a short one or a more permanent move, it all remains to be seen. Chivas VP Nestor De La Torre told Mural that Mendoza would be involved in InterLiga but beyond that only time will tell.
"We have to talk about it and give it some time. For now, he is only a reinforcement for InterLiga."