MOLANO EXPECTING BRIGHT FUTURE WITH U-20S
With the US U-20 national team now done with last week's Toreno de las Americas in Atlanta, Dinamo Zagreb midfielder Alex Molano says he can now reflect on the progress the team in its latest camp.
Molano, 18, was several of the usual first team players that was called in by head coach Thomas Rongen and was happy with how things went with the addition of many new players.
"It's been going good," Molano told YA from Atlanta. "I think this team is better than the last one we had in Northern Ireland. We just have to play together more because we haven't been together that long. The attack is much better with Zahavi, Agudelo, Sebastian [Lletget], and Tristan [Bowen]."
"Zahavi did really well," he continued. "I have never played with Tristan before but I like playing with him, Sebastian too. They're all good players and fun to play with as well. Practices have been fun. I like it a lot."
Molano started the US match against Colombia and was subbed out in the second half with the US leading 1-0. The US would end up giving up a late equalizer and regulation would end 1-1 and Colombia would win the penalty kick tiebreaker.
Molano was not satisfied with his performance personally but he feels as if the team could easily improve.
"They had two players on us the whole time," the Grapevine, Texas native recalled. "They just ran over the whole place. They're faster. We weren't as concentrated. Sebastian and I didn't play our best and we didn't have good games. If we had played better and had better touches, we would have had a better game."
With the tournament now complete, Molano is confident that with the depth in the midfield positions what is needed now is simply time together for the players to develop chemistry and cohesion. He further feels that the talent is there to make a formidable midfield.
"Sebastian [Lletget] and I are really good friends," Molano described of the US midfielder. "I've known Dillon [Powers] for awhile too. We're all good together. In Europe most of the teams are all the same and it's the same setup. All we need to do is play together more. All the players know how to play. They're good players that are smart with good skill."
Molano's time with the U-20's in Atlanta comes on the heels of a difficult first half of the season in Croatia with his club Dinamo Zagreb. After missing the preseason on international duty, he suffered an injury that would affect him until late October.
"In the beginning, I missed the whole preseason because of the Milk Cup and then I got back but was injured," Molano said of his season. "It was hard to get back in playing games. I was injured and I wasn't in shape. Then I started getting back into shape and I started playing better. For about a month I have been 100 percent because I‘ve been trying to getting into shape."
As for his future with Dinamo, Molano is unsure but knows that the situation will be resolved in the upcoming January transfer window. The options in front of him are to either be signed with Dinamo, be loaned out, or to sign with another team elsewhere in Europe.
"I don't know yet," Molano concluded. "We'll see when I get back. I am still with Dinamo but we'll see when I get back what is going to happen."