MARTINEZ LINKS UP WITH ENERGIE COTTBUS
After taking part in last year's U17 World Cup for the US, Carlos Martinez has signed on with Energie Cottbus in Germany where he will start with the club's youth teams.
Martinez joined the club last month on a one year deal with an option for two years.
He is looking forward to the challenges in front of him this season as he is still in the process of getting settled at the club located in the former East Germany.
"My first reactions were that I was anxious to see what I have in store for learning in this club," Martinez told YA from Cottbus. "Getting used to a different environment, players, and culture as well. But most of all, it was the soccer that I was anxious for."
Martinez, 18, is currently with the U19 team with Energie Cottbus but he does have goals to gradually move up within the organization and eventually make the first team which currently plays in the 2. Bundesliga.
"My personal goals for the year are of course to be part of the U23's the following season," the San Pedro, California native explained. "Then of course the first team. I like looking at things from steps. I dream big and aim high. But I also know that it takes a lot of work to get to the first team. But this year I want to do [well] in the season and prove myself that I belong here. That's my focus."
Since turning 18 in January, Martinez made the decision to develop outside the US. He explored all options in where to begin his career. He trained with clubs in Mexico and also with Boca Juniors in February.
Martinez made the decision recently to sign on in Germany because of their elite development structure.
"I think the club in general is a good club," Martinez said of Energie Cottbus. "Yet alone the country, Germany, is respected for their soccer. So I think that this club is a great way and good opportunity to develop and become a better soccer player."
Martinez will also hope that his strong play will result in another call-up from US U20 head coach Thomas Rongen.
He played with the U20 national team in January at the Copa Chivas tournament in January but has not heard from Rongen since.
As for now, Martinez is solely focused on making a strong first impression with Energie Cottbus and he is confident that this work ethic will lead to positive results.
"I just work hard every day to prove myself and the coaches as well," Martinez concluded. "That will come with time I think."