Rodrigo Saravia - Columbus Crew SC - Don Garber - 2016 SuperDraft
USA Today Sports

Rodrigo Saravia’s rise from college player to national team starter

With Jordan Morris potentially playing a key role tonight as the US try to qualify for the Olympics, it’s the exclamation point on a journey that saw a college player turn into a rising national team star.

But tonight, Guatemala could find one of their own at the start of a similar story.

Columbus Crew SC midfielder Rodrigo Saravia, a native of Guatemala City, has yet to make a name for himself – he has one cap with the Guatemala national team and has yet to feature for Columbus – but tonight looks like it could be a breakout opportunity. Reports out of Guatemala suggest the 23-year-old is slated to start in the all-important World Cup qualifier against the US tonight.

Saravia was drafted 19th overall in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft by Crew SC after a stint at Florida Gulf Coast University and he is ready to make his dream of representing his country come true.

“It’s a goal I set when I was young,” Saravia said in a profile with Columbus Crew SC. “I wanted to represent my country at least once and play in front of your crowd, in front of Guatemalans. It’s a really good experience, and you get motivated with seeing the fans that want to just see you play well.”

With Saravia apparently set to feature in a big-time game, it looks like his rise from college athlete to up-and-coming star is ready for another boost.

Read more about Saravia's journey here.