Rapids' Rivero plays the waiting game for ITC clearance
COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – Martín Rivero laughed and joked with his teammates long after Wednesday’s practice had ended, but while he is trying to have fun and make the most of his practice time with his new side, it hasn’t been an easy few weeks for the Argentine.
The top concern? He’s still waiting on his International Transfer Request form (ITC) that will allow him to participate in matches.
“It obviously has been a frustrating time for [Rivero] in waiting on the ITC and not being able to be a part of the games,” head coach Oscar Pareja told MLSsoccer.com on Wednesday. “Other than that, he has been working hard and trying to get the connection and chemistry with the boys.”
Rivero joined the Rapids from Argentine second-division side Rosario Central on Feb. 16, but the 22-year-old midfielder was ineligible for the Rapids’ first two games of the season. FIFA is now involved in trying to obtain Rivero’s ITC, which the Rapids hope will arrive by the end of this week.
“If I wasn’t calm, I’d be going crazy,” Rivero told MLSsoccer.com. “I’m trying to stay calm and hopefully the paperwork will come any day.”
Despite the frustrating process, Rivero has tried to make the most of his time in Denver, adjusting to the mile-high altitude and getting into game shape during his first month with the Rapids.
“He’s in that moment of working hard and getting adapted to the altitude and rhythm in practices,” said Pareja, who also noted that Rivero will compete for a starting job once he is eligible to play. “[Game shape] will come shortly.”
While he hasn’t been able to feature in any matches due to the ongoing paperwork problems, Rivero’s skill and surprisingly powerful shot have cast a bright early impression on his teammates.
“He’s been very creative at times and he’s passed the ball well and does everything well, which is what you expect.” said veteran midfielder Brian Mullan. “Of course he’s [22 years old], needs to get some games under his belt and [he’ll] get better from there.”
Off the field, the 6,000-mile adaptation from life in Rosario to Denver has been one that Rivero has found challenging at times, but getting on the playing field and showcasing his talents are his primary goals.
“The truth was I noticed the change from Argentina to here and the altitude,” said Rivero, who added he’s enjoying living in the US so far. “I hope I can put myself in a good enough position to play as soon as I’m able to participate.”