Inter Miami defender Andres Reyes “will be a Colombian national team player,” says coach Diego Alonso

Inter Miami CF's Andres Reyes on the ball vs. Nashville

In Andres Reyes, Inter Miami CF have a young and promising center back who, at just 20 years old, has earned a regular starting spot for the expansion side.

Miami manager Diego Alonso understands the ups and downs that come with a young talent, but he also believes there’s immense potential there as well.

“We have to indoctrinate him, help him, protect him and teach him to overcome the good and bad times so that he can have consistency over time and he can become a top player,” Reyes said. “We’re convinced that he’s going to be a Colombian senior national team player and that he’ll be competing at the highest level.”

Reyes, who signed in February from Atletico Nacional, has represented Colombian youth teams, making 11 appearances for the U-20 side and two appearances for the U-23s.

He’s hoping his first pro move out of Colombia helps raise his national team profile.

“The national team is a dream for me. I have it in mind and it’s never left my mind,” he said. “And now that I’m playing outside my country, I hope that I can be seen to be able to get there [to the national team]. And at any moment if I get the opportunity I have to take advantage.”

Inter Miami defender Andres Reyes “will be a Colombian national team player,” says coach Diego Alonso -

Reyes, below, makes a tackle on D.C. United's Erik Sorga during a game in Washington back in March. | USA Today Sports Images

On the field, Reyes is forming a partnership with Argentine center back Leandro Gonzalez Pirez. Off of it, Victor Ulloa has been assisting his acclimation.

“He’s a very athletic and very fast player, good in the air and good defender. He has all the abilities to be a great player,” Ulloa said. “He’s young and has to adapt to the league, but I think his adaptation has gone well. He’s been growing and there are aspects of his game that he can still improve. But he’s a guy who works hard during training and he’s always available and he’s always there fighting for us. The truth is that we go well on and off the field. … I’m really happy with him and I think he can still give more. He’s going to help us a lot.”

Reyes and Inter Miami face a big challenge Wednesday (7 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US, on DAZN in Canada) when they take on Atlanta United at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

It’s also a chance for Reyes to challenge himself against Pity Martinez, a former South American Player of the Year.

“It’s gratifying for me and it’s a goal of mine to play against very good players,” Reyes said. “For me it’s a personal thing that I always want to be better than those around me. It’s like my game within the game. To face a player like him gives me great motivation to give the best of myself.”