I began the conversation by telling him how warmly the Sounders and supporters have spoken of him this week.
His response: "I’d like it to be there; but it’s another time now."
Here's more from our conversation:
On how he reacted to the news of the trade: It wasn’t easy, but as a player you have to accept any kind of decision. You never know where you’re going to be the next team, or where you’re going to be the next city that you’re going be. I wanted to stay in the MLS, and I’m glad that Chivas USA gave me the opportunity to keep playing over here. But obviously everybody knows my feelings about Seattle, about the city and the club that gave me the opportunity to come to the MLS and they gave me so much support and the kindness of the people over there you’re never going to forget, you know?On the Sounders saying the move was based mostly on salary cap issues: I get it was just the salary cap that they couldn’t afford – just that. Obviously they wanted to renew the team. For them probably I’m a little bit as a veteran already they were looking for younger players and you have to accept the decision of who is making the team and the team that wanted me on the roster was Chivas USA. Obviously I wanted to be playing in MLS. I have Chivas and I have other options, but Chivas was the one that made the deal with Seattle. You have to move forward and just move to the place that they tell you.
On how he and Chivas are doing so far this season: I’m feeling very well. We have not the quantity of players that Seattle has on the roster or other teams have, but I guess we did a very good job with the team. Everybody is new over here, even the coach, and trying to build a good team is what we want. It’s going to take time. But we’re building in a good way and trying to do our best for the fans that they’re always there. It’s a new club, a new city, a new opportunity for me and a good challenge to face, and I try to do my best like I did in Seattle.
On the difference in playing before an average of 44,038 home fans last season in Seattle and 10,004 so far this season at Chivas: Obviously it’s such a big difference, but you also have your own motivation. … There you have a thousand or the fans you have in Seattle, you have to do the same things. You have to try to win. You have to try to defend the shirt that you’re wearing, and that’s no matter how much fans that you have. It matters for the motivation that you have to wear the shirt that you are defending and just move forward from there. Obviously having three years – three fantastic years – with the fans that we had in Seattle is absolutely amazing. You enjoy every single game. It is something that you like. But as I told you before: If you don’t have this quantity of fans, you have to respect the fans you have and also you respect the team that hired you and gives you the opportunity to play for them.
On facing his former team at 7:30 p.m. Saturday: It’s going to be very weird. Obviously seeing over there many of the guys that we shared locker rooms and everything and the family that we built for a long time over there, it’s going to be weird. But obviously now I’m facing new things in my career with Chivas and I have to give everything that I have to them. But like I told you, it is difficult to be facing the team that opened the door to the MLS and also not just the door, but the heart of many fans over there and teammates. Obviously I will be thankful forever.