Carey Talley may have been on the losing end of yet another match at the Home Depot Center on Saturday, but the former Real Salt Lake player isn't bitter.
He loved his time in Utah and plans on moving back when his playing days are over, but there are great opportunities for him with his new club in Southern California.
In addition to the MLS regular season, Chivas USA is participating in three other competitions this year. By virtue of winning the Western Conference last year, the Goats qualified for the U.S. Open Cup, the SuperLiga and the newly created CONCACAF Champions League.
"It's going to be a lot of games, I'm excited about it," said the 31-year-old Talley. "There's extra money up for grabs."
Since RSL traded Talley to Chivas for a conditional future draft pick, the 11-year veteran has suited up four times for his new club, playing every minute of every game.
Saturday's 1-0 loss to Real Salt Lake was a tough one though for Talley. Not only was he the defender that Robbie Findley beat for the game's lone goal, but he also missed an opportunity to equalize a few minutes later when he put a quality scoring opportunity over the crossbar.
With Chivas, Talley is being asked to play a different position, the same spot he played for six years of his MLS career.
After the trade, Chivas coach Preki a teammate of Talley's at Kansas City in 2002 and 2003 informed Talley his performance in training sessions would dictate his playing time. For a player with experience at holding midfield, center back and right back, it was a logical approach, and it didn't take long for an injury to open up an opportunity at right back.
Looking back on it, last month's trade didn't really come as a surprise to Talley.
"I saw it coming. I think that's what made it a little easier. My wife and I had even talked about it probably 10 days before it even happened," said Talley. "As a player, the way you're treated by certain people or addressed, you kind of get a feeling of what's going on. It's the way it happened, it is what it is. It's part of the job."
The trade not only reunited Talley with Preki but former RSL teammates Atiba Harris and Alecko Eskandarian as well.
"Down here at the Home Depot Center, they've got great facilities, the team is a good team, it's a good soccer environment down here. I'm enjoying it so far," said Talley. "There's competition every day in training. Some of the training sessions we've had here have been harder than the games that we've played."
Talley insists he never lost the hunger playing for RSL but acknowledges his 2007 season paled in comparison to his rock-solid 2006 campaign. In reality, though, he said it was rough year for everyone after the coaching change.
"Maybe the spotlight was on me a little more last year because of the season I had prior to that, but when you look at it, how did every player respond last year with the change in management halfway through and a guy that was your captain coming in as your coach?" said Talley.
Talley might be wearing the enemy's jersey now, but he'll be back in RSL country soon enough.
"Once this dream that I'm still riding ends, I'm going to be back in Salt Lake," said Talley. "We loved the family lifestyle; we have great friends there. That's the reason we're coming back 'cause the people we met and the city itself."It would be great to stay in soccer, but there's other things out there besides soccer, too."
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