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Chivas players to watch in Liga MX Clausura 2023: Víctor Guzmán, Alexis Vega, Daniel Ríos...

Daniel Ríos and Víctor Guzmán have only been training with the team for a week and it remains to be seen if they will start the first game of the season.

Mexico's forward Alexis Vega celebrates scoring a goal during the friendly football match between Mexico and Sweden, at the Montilivi stadium in Girona on November 16, 2022. (Photo by Pau BARRENA / AFP)

Chivas have been preparing ahead of Saturday’s Clausura 2023 opener against Rayados de Monterrey on Matchday 1.

Chivas coach Veljko Paunovic has some questions about his squad. Alexis Vega has only been training for two weeks and has been used sparingly in the last couple of warm-up games, so starting Saturday’s match is in doubt for the Mexico international.

Vega, 25, has been impressive for Chivas and after playing at the World Cup with Mexico, has been linked with a move to Europe, however, for the time being, he will remain in Mexico.

The two new club signings are Daniel Ríos and Víctor Guzmán, who have only been training with the team for a week and could be considered for the squad, but it remains to be seen if they will start.

The Chivas board are still looking for a new club for goalkeeper Antonio Rodríguez, who is not in the squad and has six months left on his contract with Chivas. One of the possibilities that has arisen is Tijuana, a team that is looking for competition for Jonathan Orozco.

Ríos is a 27-year-old striker, who has represented Mexico at U20 level. He has played for American sides North Carolina FC, Nashville SC and Charlotte FC.

“Returning to Chivas is something I’ve earned, nobody gave it to me. I think the expectations people have of me are because of that. For me it’s not pressure, rather every weekend I’ll play with my heart, I’m very happy to be back home,” said Guzmán.

Guzmán has played six times for the Mexico senior international team and can operate as a sitting, central or attacking midfielder.

“I consider myself a player who supports the dressing room. I left the door open to return to Chivas. I worked hard for this and I joined to offer responsibility, commitment and a championship-winning mentality. The team looks good and focused. They are training to the maximum. Every game is a final,” added Ríos, who arrived from MLS side Charlotte FC.

Praise for Paunovic

Both players took the time to highlight manager Serbian Veljko Paunovic, with who they had just two defeats in the entire preseason, although one of them was in the Copa Sky final against Cruz Azul.

“He (Veljko Paunovic) is a winner, who is hungry to win and transmits a lot of confidence, both to the youngsters and the veterans,” said Guzmán, while Ríos emphasised his personality. “He is a coach with experience and a lot of intensity, he generates confidence and makes a very good group”.

Paunovic was disappointed after losing the Copa Sky final to Cruz Azul in their first game at the Estadio Akron, a match in which Guzmán made his debut.

“We gave everything and started attacking because we knew there was little time left. We put our most experienced players like Alexis Vega and Pocho Guzmán on, players who, of course, are not yet at full fitness, but it has been very nice to see them with the team. We are all coming together and we are building a squad that will compete this year,” Paunovic said.

Hierro: We are a family

Chivas sporting director Fernando Hierro praised the new signings based on the expectations set by the board, who wanted to strengthen the squad.

“The club’s position is clear and straightforward, we have a squad with a good mix. We are lucky to find these two players (Víctor and Daniel) because of what Chivas means to them. I think we have a deep squad with alternatives, with a lot of young players. We are a family, that’s my call to the team, we all win and lose together here”.


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