GUADALAJARA, Mexico – Ernest Nungaray has moved through his soccer apprenticeship, and the Anaheim, Calif., native is looking to graduate next season by breaking into the first team with Liga MX outfit Morelia.
The 21-year-old midfielder got minutes last season at Morelia’s sister club Toros Neza in the Ascenso MX, notching a total of 13 appearances, but he's back in preseason training with the Liga MX side.
“It’s another opportunity to be in the first division,” Nungaray told the club’s website. “I’m very grateful to the coaching staff for taking me into account to be part of the preseason and I’ll try to win a place.”
Nungaray was part of the US Under-20 national team that won the 2010 Milk Cup and was involved in the doomed CONCACAF qualifying tournament for the U-20 World Cup in Guatemala in 2011.
At his club, Nungaray debuted in the CONCACAF Champions League in September 2011 and is hoping the fact Monarcas are competing in both the Liga MX and the Copa MX this season will lead to minutes under Argentine coach Carlos Bustos.
“The preseason work is the foundation for the upcoming tournament and to be well prepared to start the league and cup,” he said.
Morelia kick off their Apertura 2013 campaign on July 19 at Querétaro.
Tom Marshall covers Americans playing in Latin America for MLSsoccer.com. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.