Paul Arriola has the unique situation of traveling from San Diego, California to Tijuana, Mexico everyday to train and play for Club Tijuana.
What a year it has been for this kid.
The California native was one of the most anticipated youth internationals coming up. In May 2016, he saw his first minutes for the US Men’s National Team as he hammered home a goal and assist in the 3-1 victory against Puerto Rico. Shortly afterwards, he became just the eighth player in USMNT history to score in his first two matches.
While he was establishing himself on the international scene, he was fighting for a spot in the starting 11 for Club Tijuana under the former Mexico manager, Miguel Herrera. All 12 appearances in 2016 he came off the bench and went on to win the league title. In 2017, he has started all 6 of the club’s matches as the RWB position and has two goals and two assists. Learn more about Arriola in USMNT’s short film below.
It’s great to see USMNT putting out content that showcases young, up-and-coming talent in the US. It’s even more special to see the focus on a player who relies so heavily on traveling over the border each and every day to improve and compete in Mexico. So much of America’s future talent relies on a strong relationship with Mexico’s soccer programs. Not only for our international players to compete in Mexico, but so Mexican players can compete in MLS.
Nothing will be able to keep these two soccer cultures from blending and strengthening each other. Not even a wall.
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