FutbolMLS.com Digest: San Jose's Matias Perez Garcia on his debut, life in Argentina vs. USA
FutbolMLS.com is the go-to source for Spanish-language coverage of MLS and soccer throughout North America, and every Friday we bring you an English-language digest of the best stuff on the site. Oh, and don't miss everything you need to know about the weekend in American soccer in the Starting XI.
1. AMERICAN DREAM: New San Jose Earthquakes Designated Player Matías Pérez García introducted himself to the league in a big way last Friday, and this week he chatted with FutbolMLS.com about his move to the United States and the thrill of playing in a new league.
“From the moment stepped on the field, I enjoyed it a lot, because it’s different from Argentine soccer,” he said. “I was very calm before the game, waiting for my debut. Once I was on the field, I began to touch the ball and was feeling more comfortable and after that the goal game, that made me feel even calmer. It was a very tough game against a great rival that has great players.”
The diminutive attacker also elaborated on what it is exactly that’s driving the constant flow of Argentines to MLS.
“The opportunity to come and play a kind of soccer that doesn’t have the pressures of Argentine soccer,” he replied when asked what it is that brings Argentines to MLS. “When you don’t win one of two games in Argentina, everything gets complicated. The society is contaminated, and ugly things are happening. That hurts you, because it’s your country.”
For more from Pérez García, be sure to click through above to check out the full interview.
2. VALDÉS & VILLA ON TIRO LIBRE: The Tiro Libre Radio crew is back for another episode to bring you up to date on all the latest happenings in the world of North America, en español. Among this week’s topics of discussion were the MLS All-Stars’ big win over Bayern Munich, DeAndre Yedlin’s big move to Tottenham Hotspur and the impending retirement of Landon Donovan.
Also on the show, Philadelphia Union defender Carlos Valdés came on to discuss his recent move back to MLS after an extended loan spell in South America, and his desire to win a title with the Union.
Lastly, newly minted New York City FC Designated Player David Villa talks about his move to MLS, and assured that he was not coming to New York City for the glamour, but to play soccer and win titles with New York City FC.
3. THE DECISION: New England Revolution forward Diego Fagundez’s star has been on the rise for several years now, and the 19-year-old may soon be faced with a tough decision on his international future. He is currently only eligible to represent his native Uruguay, whom he recently joined for an Under-20 national team camp, but could get his US citizenship by 2018.
As part of the Primer Plano, FutbolMLS.com's long-form series, Diego Pinzón went in depth with Fagundez on that impending choice.
“I’d like to play for either team,” he told FutbolMLS.com. “I don’t have a favorite, I’d just like to represent a country, it would be very nice. But it could be either of the two.”
Whereas he has been called up by Uruguay at the U-20 level, he has not yet heard from the United States, but is not too worried about it.
“There are many US national team players that play [in MLS],” Fagundez continued. “So if I continue playing the same, scoring goals and helping other players be better, the possibility could be there.
For the full story and more on Fagundez’s complicated national team decision, be sure to click through above.
4. WATCHING FROM AFAR: Pérez García wasn’t the only Argentine to sign for DP dollars in MLS recently — new Montreal Impact midfielder Ignacio Piatti recently arrived in MLS and made quite a stir doing so.
In another Pelotazos installment, Piatti talked exclusively to FutbolMLS.com’s Emmanuel Quispe in Buenos Aires prior to arrival, expressing his disappointment at missing the second leg of the Copa Libertadores final with his old team, San Lorenzo, due to the closing of the MLS transfer window, but revealing his happiness with his new team.
“I’m very thankful to Montreal because they are not going through a good moment right now; they understood my situation and did everything so that I could be with San Lorenzo,” he said. “When I traveled a few weeks ago to Canada, I was confident the permission to play would arrive, though they warned me, ‘Look, you may not be able to play [the final]’; but these are things that happen.”
San Lorenzo went on to win the final, much to Piatti’s delight.
For more about Piatti’s journey to MLS, including how the likes of Valdés, Hernán Bernardello and Guillermo Barros Schelotto influenced his decision, be sure to click through above.
5. THE CONTINENTAL CONUNDRUM: Though the Montreal Impact have already had a taste, the 2014-15 CONCACAF Champions League begins in earnest for MLS teams next week, with the Impact, Portland Timbers, D.C. United, Sporting KC all in action next Tuesday and Wednesday.
This week, FutbolMLS.com looked both to the past and the future, with Hugo Chávez Barros reviewing the top 10 campaigns from MLS clubs in North America’s top continental competitions, and looking at what it will take for an MLS team to disrupt Mexico’s hegemony since the CCL started in its current format in 2008.
We won't give it all away here, but as you can imagine, Real Salt Lake, D.C. United and the LA Galaxy all feature prominently in the former list, while the latter is a long one. No matter what, it promises to be as compelling a tournament as always.