Another American is heading south of the border to start his professional career.
Paul Arriola, a forward from Chula Vista, Calif., announced that he signed a contract with Club Tijuana on his Twitter account Thursday, making him the latest in a growing line of players traveling south to sign with a club in Mexico.
Arriola, who most recently was training with the LA Galaxy Academy, spent time training at the U.S. U17 MNT Residency in Bradenton, Florida as part of the 2011 U17 World Cup cycle. The forward made three starts in four matches at the 2011 World Cup in Mexico, and he'll join former U17 teammates Alejandro Guido and Stevie Rodriguez at Tijuana.
After his return from the World Cup, Arriola scored 15 goals in 17 games for Arsenal FC in the 2011-12 Development Academy season, before switching to the Galaxy ahead of the current Academy season. In 11 appearances in the 2012-13 Development Academy, Arriola had five goals to his name, and he's also made appearances with the U.S. U18 Men's National Team, joining the team on a March trip to France and Romania.
The youngster continues a trend of Americans at Club Tijuana, as the Liga MX first team also boasts defenders Greg Garza, Edgar Castillo and midfielder Joe Corona.
The No. 8 recruit in the 2013 Boys IMG Academy 150, Arriola had been committed to play college soccer at UCLA.
It's official! I signed my first professional contract with Club Tijuana Xolos @xolosoficial! Thank you God! Dreams come true!— Paul Arriola (@PaulArriola) May 3, 2013