GUADALAJARA, Mexico – California-born midfielder Daniel Antunez, 25, will be leaving Mexican first-division side Estudiantes Tecos after not being offered a new contract for 2012.
Antunez was left out of Tecos´ 25-man squad for the Apertura 2011 so he could improve his fitness for 2012 after tearing the ACL in his left knee during a training drill back in April.
“They put me on the transfer list, so they're pretty much letting me go,” the Santa Ana, Calif., native told MLSsoccer.com on Tuesday.
Antune'´s contract was up at the end of December anyway and, while he understands the decision and appreciates the support from Tecos through his recovery, he feels his knee is now 100 percent and he just needs a good preseason behind him.
The former Colorado Rapids draft pick will return to his family´s home in Tyler, Texas, early next week, work hard on his fitness and weigh up his future career options.
“Right now, I really don't know,” he said. “I´m open to anything. Because of my injury, I just want to play as soon as I can.”
One option Antunez has is a return to FC Inter Turku in Finland. On a recent visit, he trained with the squad and spoke to the coach, who told the former California and Texas All-State player that he wants him back for next season.
Antunez is keen not to rush into a decision, saying he would be open to returning to the US or staying in Mexico.
“Right now I'm really just focusing on getting back to a good level, seeing what my agent says and see what options we have open,” he said.
The well-traveled Antunez has previously played for USL Pro side Rochester Rhinos and had a six-month stint in Brazil.
Tom Marshall can be reached via email@example.com