BRIAN SCIARETTA - Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Over the weekend Argentina Under-20 boss Sergio Batista announced a 43-man roster for a U20 camp which included California-born and raised Estudiantes de La Plata midfielder Michael Hoyos.
This news will surely come as a bitter disappointment for US national team fans who have taken great interest in Hoyos and his sudden rise with the powerful Argentine club.
Hoyos, 18, has been with Estudiantes' youth teams the past three years but began his ascendency to the first team with a stunning goal against Boca Juniors during a preseason tournament. Since then, he has earned regular time with the first team to start the season.
The news will also serve as a setback for USSF officials who have tried to incorporate Hoyos into US youth national teams in recent years. In the fall of 2008, Hoyos was named to a roster for a US Under-18 camp. Also within recent weeks, US Under-20 officials have invited Hoyos into U20 camps as the they build towards the 2011 U20 World Cup.
Hoyos told YA earlier this month that he appreciated the US U20 invitations but he had to decline because he did not want to leave Estudiantes as he was trying to earn his place with the first team. He also said that he wanted to attend a US U20 camp in the future. This annoucement that Hoyos will take part in an U20 camp for Argentina will mark a change in direction for him.
It is important to note that Hoyos is still far from being cap-tied to Argentina. As a dual citizen he is eligible to represent both the US and Argentina. He will only be permanently cap-tied to a nation once he plays for a national team in an official competition.
Still, the news is a setback as it shows that Hoyos is on the national team radar for Argentina. It also most likely means that Argentina is his priority at the moment and playing for the US will probably only enter the equation if Argentina no longer appears to be an option for him.
YA has a clear policy in following only American players overseas who are either playing for the US national team (or youth teams) or have an express desire to play for the US. While Michael Hoyos may one day again fall into this category of being a US player, we now must consider him more Argentine than American in terms of soccer.
We will no longer be covering Michael Hoyos unless circumstances change and he either decides to attend a US camp or makes affirmative statements that playing for the US is in his future.