Chivas Guadalajara prepares for Juventus of Italy
It's easy to spot the young Chivas Guadalajara players who helped Mexico win the Under-17 World Cup.
They're the ones with their heads shaved.
Chivas is hoping that youthful exuberance can lead to a few more goals starting Thursday night when it faces Italian club Juventus in the World Football Challenge.
In its only previous game in the challenge, Chivas allowed Cristiano Ronaldo to score three goals in a late nine-minute span of Real Madrid's 3-0 win last week. The four Under-17 champions on Chivas didn't play in that game.
''They are very dynamic,'' Chivas defender Patricio Araujo said. ''They want to learn about us and they are going to help us (score) more goals.''
Those four players - Carlos Fierro, Giovani Casillas, Luis Solorio and Jose Pablo Tostado - helped host Mexico claim the Under-17 World Cup for the second time in six years, beating Uruguay 2-0 earlier this month in the title game. Fierro helped set up the first goal and Casillas scored the second one to seal the victory on home soil.
''They're bringing more intensity, more ambition,'' Chivas midfielder Antonio Gallardo said. ''They're helping balance the group to keep (the team) working harder.''
Now Chivas is hoping for a scoring jolt in this series of exhibitions in North America.
Chivas played even with Real Madrid well into the second half before Ronaldo went on his scoring binge.
He scored in the 73rd minute, converted a penalty kick three minutes later and added a goal on a blast in the 82nd minute.
That loss, Gallardo said, ultimately was a result of a lack of focus by Chivas.
''We need to (score) more goals,'' Araujo said. ''We are a team that works very good (on) defense. We have some very nice players there, but we are going to improve the way to score more.''
If nothing else, Chivas will have had more time to get comfortable in central North Carolina. Chivas arrived Tuesday and worked out that evening, while Juventus claimed a rain-delayed 1-0 victory over Club America in New York and wasn't scheduled to reach Raleigh until Wednesday.
Chivas has one more game in the challenge after this, a matchup with FC Barcelona on Aug. 3 in Miami. Juventus is 1-1 in the challenge, having previously lost 2-1 to the Sporting Club of Portugal last Saturday.