Jorge Villafana: Scouting Report


The Goat Parade's Matt Hoffman introduces the Timbers' new left back.

Jorge Villafana (formerly Jorge Flores) is rarity among Chivas USA players in that he has been the longest tenured player with the team despite only being 24.

Jorge was born in Mexico but attended high school in Anaheim and became captain of the soccer team. Jorge won the reality show MLS Sueño in 2007 for a chance to play for the Chivas U-19s. He signed a contract shortly afterward and earned the nickname "Sueño".

Despite being with Chivas for over six years, Villafana played a net 86 games which comes out to just a shade under 13 games per season. More than half of those games were in 2011 and 2013 when he played 25 and 20 respectively. In those years, the bulk of his playing time was in the left winger position.

However his other seasons he tended to see more time at left back, the same position he played under Caleb Porter in Olympic qualifying. He did play center forward once ... but we don't talk about that around here.

He's been relatively healthy at Chivas. Last year he suffered a calf contusion and this year he had a toe injury. Otherwise most of his exclusions from the lineup have been due to national team commitments and coach's decisions.

His decision making is decent. His quickness has deteriorated so his take-ons have steadily declined over the years. His biggest contributions--and keep in mind this is a Chivas team that hasn't made the playoffs since 2009--is his crossing. His pace and ball handling are decent, not great. There's no one real skill or area where Villafana has led Chivas. I chalk this up not to talent but the relatively short hook he has tended to be given.

Since coming to Chivas in 2007, many different coaches have walked through that door, each with a different philosophies and a desire to have  "their guys" on the field. Despite this, Villafana has always found a way to stick around. But it certainly stunted, if not flat out halted his development.

My guess is Porter will shift Michael Harrington to the right and play Villafana at left back. In Porter's system, Villafana could really shine in particular making overlapping runs and firing crosses into the box. Porter being both the supporter and the psychologist could really bring a new level of confidence to Villafana's game. I'm very excited to see this Portland side next year. I think this has the potential to be a huge trade for the Timbers and their faithful.

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