Sunday night will be a special evening for Mexican-American and United States Under-20 midfielder Cesar Zamora who will lead the US into battle versus the Mexico Under-20 squad at the Dallas Cup.
The dual citizen from Sylmar, California says that he has been preparing for this match-up ever since he received word that U-20 coach Thomas Rongen wanted him on the roster for this tournament.
"I've been preparing for this ever since I got notice to come down here," Zamora told YA at the Dallas Cup. "I've been putting in the effort to be ready and I feel good."
Zamora notes that while most of his family are of Mexican descent, they will all still be rooting for the Stars and Stripes when the opening whistle blows at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco.
"It's always a special game playing against Mexico. My family is from Mexico but they all will be rooting for the US!," reassured Zamora.
Last May, Zamora signed a developmental contract to join the Chivas USA first team roster, making him the third Chivas USA Youth Team product to do so.
The 18 year old reveals that his experince with Chivas USA has proved to be a very valuable one and that guidance from US national team players Jonathan Bornstein and Sasha Klejstan have also aided him on the field.
"My experience at Chivas has helped in many ways," Zamora said of his time with the MLS club. "I've learned from[Bornstein and Klejstan] that you always have to perform wherever you play and whenever you are called. That's what I try to do each practice session. I always try to be ready."
The five foot 11 inch Zamora goes on to add that the speed of play in MLS is what has stood out to him as the biggest difference from his days with the youth team.
"The biggest change is the speed of play," he noted. "You always have to be thinking of little things like how to move and when to move when the ball's not around you."
With the 2010 MLS season underway, Zamora says that his goals are straightforward and simple once he rejoins his club.
"My main goal is to help my team win a championship and for me personally, to get in as many matches as I can," he added.
There will certainly be a level of familiarity between Zamora and several of the Mexican U-20 players when the two teams take the field Sunday night.
The Golden State native knows several players on 'El Tri' from previous practice session with Mexican clubs and may even exchange a greeting or two with his old acquaintances.
"I know a couple guys on the Mexico team from when I practiced down there. Maybe I might exchange a couple words with them during the match!" he joked.
Zamora and the rest of Rongen's squad will continue Super Group play on Monday versus the Vancouver Whitecaps.