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BRIAN SCIARETTA - Monday, March 29, 2010
As the US U20 team builds towards to the World Cup next year in Colombia, one of the most talked about young American players is Estudiantes de La Plata midfielder Michael Hoyos who just may still play for the US.

Hoyos, who was born and raised in Fountain Valley, California, has emerged in 2010 as a regular for the defending Copa Libertadores champions.

He began garning attention in January when he scored a magnificent 30 meter goal against perennial power Boca Juniors in a preseason tournament.

While last month's announcement that Argentina U20 head coach Sergio Batista had selected Hoyos for a U20 camp served as a setback for his chances of representing the US at the international level, US U20 coach Thomas Rongen has been having positive talks with the promising 18 year old about playing for the Stars and Stripes.

Rongen invited Hoyos to play at the Dallas Cup with the US U20 team but Estudiantes refused to release him. Despite this, Rongen is optimistic about his chances of getting Hoyos involved with the US program in the near future.

"Michael is playing very, very well and is getting first team minutes at Estudiantes," Rongen told YA. "He was actually very excited [about going] to the Dallas Cup. Unfortunately, Estudiantes said no, but I think it would make sense if somewhere down the line when there are no problems with his club that we would be able to see Michael Hoyas play for this U20 team."

Michael Hoyos is just one of the many current American youth players who have dual citizenship and the option of playing for another country at the international level.

The US has already seen two promising dual national players in Neven Subotic and Giuseppe Rossi achieve great success representing other countries and there is fear among US fans that Hoyos could become yet another loss of elite talent. While Hoyos' situation is far from settled, Rongen believes that the discussions with Hoyos have been going well.

It is clear that Hoyos has personal loyalties towards both the US and Argentina. While he was born in the US, his parents are Argentine and he and his family have been living in Argentina for over three years since Michael and his younger brother Kevin signed with Estudiantes.

Hoyos will eventually have to make his decision but Rongen does feel that there are factors which favor the US.

"I mean with players that are in those positions with dual citizenship – it won't be the first time, it won't be the last time," Rongen discussed. "Players have to make decisions. We feel that a player like Michael, who has spent a lot of years in this country, has some alliances and feelings about representing this country. That's important.

"We want players that want to represent the country and are proud of doing that. And Michael sounded like the player and person that wants to be involved, and that's a positive first step," Rongen concluded.
Monday March 29, 2010 3:02 pm
I had meant to say that Dempsey and Landon Donovan are not the best crossing players available within the USMNT pool of players and that tactically the triangle of Donovan, Dempsey, and Altidore would produce better result if players who can provide better service into the box were put on the wings we will have a much better tactical advantages offensively and defensively since natural wingers do exist in the USMNT pool who are not being taken under more consideration by the coach. Also, if I was 18 and to start in the WC, just by looking at the age of Bob's first choice guys and the lack of depth at LB and RB, really unbelievable! RB!, since Bob isn't a great GM so to speak I would choose at team I could start on that seems to find its best unknown or rarely used talent after one or 2 injuries occur.
Monday March 29, 2010 1:53 pm
Got to agree with you Charlie. I think the U.S. should be gambling a lot more with younger players in general. They tend to be very hungry to impress and play in the world cup. If we were to schedule 5 more friendlies, just for the sake of giving fringe players and younger players to play it, might mirror the pleasant talent that emerged to be better than the incumbent or mainstay players Bob Bradley continually chooses. Davies and DeMerit played great and proved to be better than his original first choice selection in the SA. With Ching and Bocanegra on the bench. Boca isn't a better LB than Spector or a better CB than DeMerit. Goodson may be a better choice as well than Boca ,but need playing time. Cooper, who must be really disliked by Bob, deserved a shot to play more than Findley, Ching and Casey. Without a world class CAM, the best tactics to employ are choosing wing player who can cross. LD and Demps are great at crossing and if Bob insist upon using forwards that lack pace, but have great aerial abilities players with skills to put the ball in the box should be used. Brad Davis, Bedoya, Holden is who I would suggest. I'm totally dismayed Geoff Cameron was never considered to play RB( who can play everywhere) to push Spector in the LB position and leave Bornstein on the bench.
Jonnie Walker
Monday March 29, 2010 1:19 pm
Hey Charlie,

It was my first thought as well. Give him the full selection cap, anyway I don't think we have that kind of talent on the bench, if not on the starting lineup.
He would be happy to make it to the WC. We would have locked him up. And case closed.
Charlie G.
Monday March 29, 2010 11:04 am
This may sound absurd, but if Hoyos is starting for Estudiantes, then why not a call up to the full USMNT and not just consideration for the U20's - may be we need to roll the dice a bit.
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