Illegal immigrants?! Their parents moved there for work, and when their dad's contract was up they moved back to Argentina!
That's a good idea for a potential piece though, thanks!
They were both top players in the Dallas leagues and played in the FC Dallas academy. One of them won a reality show competition and got a tryout in Chelsea, but got stranded in Argentina due to visa troubles. That's how they ended up playing for River in the first place.
They might have entered the country legally, but there was definitely something dodgy about their residency in the US, as they were not offered a contract with FC Dallas despite their local reputation. They were not unknown players in their area.
Also, their mom was a cashier and their dad worked in a garage. Such humble circumstances certainly suggests the possibility of being in a dodgy place with their papers.
Those are just the facts. The rumors are that he definitely wasn't signed from the Sueno competition because he was illegal, and that they went to Argentina because they were going to have a tough time reentering the US after their tryout at Chelsea, and that their dad came to FC Dallas and asked them to pull strings to make the family legal.
Michael Hoyos, a clear-cut US citizen, they are not.
My word. That is, entirely unsurprisingly, nothing like the version we get to hear in Argentina! And one of my mates recently interviewed Rogelio, so I don't just mean the version presented by the Argentine press.
It was Rogelio (the useless centre forward) who won the reality show. Ramiro (centre back), who didn't, is a significantly better player, if his performances this season in the second division can be replicated if/when River return to the Primera.
There was a lot of fuss about Rogelio when he started playing for River - the number of Americans who have ever played for world-famous clubs is dreadfully short, so this Argentine-American with a Texas-inspired accent and a penchant for US fashion caused some fuss. Is he a citizen and can he play for us?
But as people did more research, the number of people saying "he's a resident on the path to citizenship/he's a citizen" got very thin on the ground, and even some people who personally knew him wouldn't confirm his status, which is usually a giveaway that the person in question is undocumented.
The preview issue of Howler is online now, folks. For free. It's an online match programme for tomorrow's Argentina v Brazil game, and you can download it as a PDF here, or to your iPad via iTunes here.
Pieces from George Vecsey, Jonathan Wilson, Graham Parker, Robert Sweeney and me, among others.
I just got an email that issue 1 is out. I wasn't going to subscribe but now that Champions has shifted from a mostly intelligent magazine that mixed really good historical and tactical long essays with a bunch of crap (top 50 listings, interviews that asked who the biggest joker was in the squad, and a collage of short little blurbs) to being a preview and review of each matchday (i.e., nothing I couldn't find on the Guardian web site), I figure I can transfer that money from one sub to another. I'm just glad Champions decided to suck right when my subscription was ending.