Ricardo Bocanegra of Atlas

Atlas' Ricardo Bocanegra reiterates USMNT interest, has been in contact with Jurgen Klinsmann's staff

GUADALAJARA, Mexico – Former Mexican youth international Ricardo Bocanegra is holding out hope that he'll one day get a call from the US national team, and the Las Vegas-born Atlas midfielder says he's been in contact with Jurgen Klinsmann's top assistant Martin Vasquez to make it so.

“I’m not losing hope that the United States calls me up and I want that opportunity,” Bocanegra told reporters here on Tuesday. “I’m going to work hard.”

A creative midfielder with good vision and a wide range of passing, the 24-year-old admitted he wouldn’t turn down a Mexico call either and explained that he has “a great affection for both countries.”

Bocanegra – who won the 2011 Pan American Games as a starter for El Tri – says he has talked with Vasquez, who assured him that the USMNT staff is following him.

“I’ve spoken with the assistant and various coaches and they ask that I’m good, ready, playing, in rhythm and say they will be watching me,” added Bocanegra.

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Last season, Bocanegra started eight Liga MX games for high-flying Atlas and came off the bench on six occasions, with the team finishing the regular season in third place.

MLSsoccer.com first revealed his connection to the United States back in November 2011, but said at the time he hadn't been in contact with anyone from U.S. Soccer.

Tom Marshall covers Americans playing in Latin America for MLSsoccer.com. E-mail him at tom.marshall.mex@gmail.com.

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