American Exports: US U-20 Ocegueda to Chivas USA?

PUEBLA, Mexico – The club future of US Under-20 national team defender Juan Pablo Ocegueda is still up in the air, contrary to some reports in the Mexican press in recent weeks.

Various publications have suggested that Ocegueda would move to Chivas USA after national team duty comes to an end following the CONCACAF qualifying tournament for the U-20 World Cup.

But the left back, who is on loan at the Chivas de Guadalajara institution from Tigres UANL and has trained in Guadalajara, is in the dark about where his future lies after the championship.

“I haven’t spoken to anyone at all,” Ocegueda told MLSsoccer.com after US training on Tuesday. “I’m just focusing on the qualifiers and after that, whatever happens. I’m ready for it.”

On paper, Chivas USA seems the natural step for the Southern California native, with Chivas sporting director Dennis te Kloese telling MLSsoccer.com recently that he can’t envisage an American international suiting up for the Guadalajara branch of the franchise.

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Ocegueda certainly wouldn’t be averse to a move north.

“I’d love to go there, too,” he said. “It’s a good team and I’m just ready to play anywhere.”

Somewhat surprisingly, the 19-year-old started on the bench in the US team’s 2-1 victory over Haiti Monday, only coming on in the 88th minute.

He is hoping to get the nod on Friday against Costa Rica and coach Tab Ramos has been impressed with the player teammates playfully refer to as “Pacquiao.”

“Juan Pablo has had two great weeks of training, so he’s in good form and he’s a possibility for the next game,” said the coach on Tuesday.