GUADALAJARA, Mexico – With speculation building over the international future of Mexico and USMNT eligible center back Ventura Alvarado, Club América sporting president Ricardo Peláez has weighed in.
Peláez – a sporting director for Mexico at World Cup 2014 – suggested in an interview with ESPN.com.mx on Tuesday that he’d prefer to see 22-year-old Alvarado in a Mexico shirt because he “has a lot of qualities and could be useful in the future,” although he hinted that the US national team is very much in the running.
“If [the US] see him and act first, they can call him up and take the advantage,” said Pelaez.
The president added that Alvarado is a defender of Mexican national team quality and said the player – who left his native Phoenix, Arizona, to join Club América at 15 years old – could follow in the footsteps of Raúl Jiménez and Diego Reyes, who were both called up to El Tri from Las Aguilas under the age of 22.
Alvarado’s rise in prominence of late has been steep. The versatile defender only started his first Liga MX match on Nov. 23, 2014 and was thrust into the limelight when he replaced the banished Paul Aguilar at right back as América got past Monterrey (in the semifinals) and Tigres (in the final) to win the Apertura 2014.
New América coach Gustavo Matosas has used Alvarado on the right side of three center backs in recent weeks and the youngster has been steadily looking more confident and assured in his starting role for the Liga MX giant.
Alvarado has previously stated he hoped US national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann was watching him and has indicated the door is open to both countries when it comes to his international future.
The potential battle over Alvarado is even more pertinent at present with both Mexico and the US playing friendlies in late March, and because El Tri need a base of around 46 players this summer to confront the challenges posed by the Copa America and Gold Cup double-header.