SAN JOSE, Calif. – With his team in the ascendancy and expectations exceeded thus far according to GM Jesse Fioranelli, Matias Almeyda added another integral piece to his San Jose Earthquakes “family,” Mexican winger Carlos Fierro.
“I see him very content, very happy,” Almeyda told reporters Tuesday evening following the Quakes’ 1-1 friendly draw against La Liga outfit Real Valladolid. “I know that he’s a player that is going to add [to this team]. I repeat, Carlos is not a savior. He’s going to be just another player on this team. Surely, at some point in time, he’s going to be a key player.”
Comfortable on either flank, as a center forward or behind the striker, Fierro bolsters a San Jose side that is flexible by design and has become surprisingly efficient as of late. The 24-year-old – who became the franchise’s sixth Mexican-born player, and first since Rafael Baca in 2013 – is once again reunited with El Pelado and his idiosyncratic tactics after reaching the summit together at Chivas Guadalajara.
“What I like about him is the bond he creates,” Fierro said of Almeyda's coaching style. "The first thing he does is create a family. [He wants] the team to be transparent and for there to be a lot of confidence.
“That one looks after their teammate, that no one should let anyone die,” he added. “That’s what I admire about him, followed by his way of working. I believe you guys are aware of it: how day in and day out he works with his coaching staff, which can be noticed in [the player’s] physical shape.”
Bienvenido Fierro | Carlos Fierro Introductory Press ConferencePosted by San Jose Earthquakes on Tuesday, July 16, 2019
It’s back to ground zero for the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup champion, however. Cracking into one of the starting XI of one of MLS’s hottest teams will take a lot more than acquaintanceship with Almeyda.
Fierro is conscious of that, and is more than willing to work for his merit.
“I’m just another player that comes to contribute, that has humility, that has heart and that comes to win a spot,” Fierro, who Fioranelli admitted was on San Jose’s radar for the last two years, said during his introductory press conference. “I know that I just got here, but I’m going to fight for a spot. I don’t like people gifting me anything, so I come to contribute everything within me. Carlos Fierro is here to contribute everything for this team.”
Fierro with Chivas | USA Today Sports Images
Still young and about to embark on his first venture outside of Mexico, Fierro will garner plenty of curious eyes, including many in the Bay Area’s Mexican community. He says it won’t add a sense of pressure, but instead will bring joy and pleasure for him given that he’ll be the community’s exemplar.
That, plus reuniting with old faces and being a part of a “growing” and “competitive” league were enough to entice Fierro to MLS and the Black-and-Blue, where he believes the caliber of competition is approaching that at his previous Liga MX clubs like Chivas and Cruz Azul.
“Yes, of course,” he responded, asked if he expects MLS sides to go far in the new Leagues Cup. “This league is growing, important players keep coming.
“I come from a very competitive league, where they say that it’s of greater level [than MLS] in Liga MX,” he added. “But they [MLS] have competed, they’ve reached finals … Like I said, the league is growing and, as the years go by, there will be more competition.”