Club America center back Ventura Alvarado is a 22-year-old center back who’s shining Liga MX.
He’s also eligible to represent both Mexico and the United States, and it may be a case of “Whoever calls first.”
It’s no surprise that former Mexico NT sporting director Ricardo Peláez, now a president at Club America, wants his club’s back to represent El Tri. But will he?
“If [the US] see him and act first, they can call him up and take the advantage,” said Pelaez.
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.
Alvarado’s experience in a three center back unit could be very alluring to Klinsmann if the USMNT boss is dedicated to sticking with the 3-5-2 formation. Matt Besler, Jermaine Jones, Steve Birnbaum and Matt Hedges have spent time in Klinsmann’s bank of three, while the coach may envision Perry Kitchen and Shane O’Neill in the group as well, as evidenced by the USMNT roster releases.
Would Alvarado be a coup, if only to keep him from Mexico? Hard to tell when there’s such a rapid rise to prominence for a player, but certainly there’s no reason to hope a prospect chooses a competitor. Call-up forthcoming?