OWTY has confirmed that 1997 usynt striker Rigoberto Rojas was offered a youth contract with Chivas de Guadalajara following a successful trial, but will forego the Mexican giant’s offer to play with the Chicago Fire Academy.
Rojas, a native Chicagoan, spent the last few seasons playing with the Chicago Blast Soccer Club. Rojas last played as a 1997, suiting up with the US U17 squad vs. the US U15 BNT. Rojas also donned the Stars & Stripes in 2012 for the US U15 BNT in the Marveld Tournament hosted in Holland, where the Yanks placed 5th. The US U15 BNT topped Real Madrid, FC Twente, Liverpool FC and Ajax youth squads in the tournament.
Rojas impressed scouts across Europe and the Americas. He had 2012 trials with a few Mexican clubs including Monterrey, as well as plenty of European interest.
Rojas is very interested in maintaining a strong connection with US Soccer, and knew that signing with Chivas de Guadalajara could harm that relationship. Past US youth international 1993 Omar Salgado famously left the club after their refusal to allow him to compete with the United States. Rojas, who mirrors Salgado’s size, left foot and skill, for now has chosen to stay in America and compete in the USSDA.
Rojas’ inclusion the Chicago Fire Academy will see him link up with fellow usynt ’97 Collin Fernandez (MF), ’97 Shannon Seymour (D) & ’96 Michael Jimenez (D), as well as talented prospects ’97 Mauricio Pineda (D) and ’96 Luca Giovine (F). Rojas could also see time in the U17/U18 division as well as Chicago Fire reserve matches.