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Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - 11:31pm
On the eve of the 2011 MLS Draft, 17-year old Omar Salgado, who started his high soccer high school career at Cathedral, spent most of his time the past few years in Mexico and Florida, is expected to be selected in the first round of the MLS Draft in Baltimore, Maryland.
Salgado will leave Florida, where he is training with the U-20 USA National Team in Bradenton, and depart to Baltimore Thursday morning. Salgado is a 6-4 forward with tons of upside.
Salgado always wanted to play for the United States. Even after leaving El Paso Texas to join the Chivas Guadalajara youth system. Even after playing for the Mexican Under-20 national team. When Salgado met Rongen he jumped at the chance to return to the country where he was born and raised.
“When I was at Chivas and the U.S. national team called me I realized I wanted to play for the United States,” Salgado said. “It was where I was born and it just felt right for me to play for the United States.”
Salgado has emerged as one of the brightest young talents in the U.S. youth national team set-up, and he signed a Generation adidas contract with Major League Soccer.
“He wanted to play for us and he wanted to play in MLS so it was an easy move,” Thomas Rongen, head coach of the U-20 USA National Team said. “It ended up being a great story for all parties involved on this side of the border.
“He’s a special talent, not like many young American players you will find,” Rongen said. “He can be successful. There’s no doubt in my mind.”
Only 15 at the time, Salgado moved to Mexico and faced the difficult adjustment of not only being away from home, but being in a new country. Even though his family’s heritage is Mexican, there was a considerable adjustment to make going from El Paso to Guadalajara.
"It was very difficult," Salgado said. "It was a different country and different atmosphere. Guadalajara isn't a very pleasant place."