Published: October 4, 2011
Southern California star Raul Mendiola is headed to English Premier League giant Manchester City F.C. this weekend where he may just land with one of the world’s premier clubs.
“I’m pretty excited. It’s one of the top clubs in the world,” Mendiola said Tuesday. “I’ve been told that there’s a possibility that I could be loaned out to (RCD Espanyol) in Spain for a year, or I could stay with Man City.”
Mendiola has made no secret about his wanting to turn professional. He signed with sporting agency Magnitude and reportedly received a good deal of offers from around the world.
Man City’s interest in Mendiola took flight this past summer at the 2011 Generation adidas U17 Cup in Frisco, Texas, where it wasn’t difficult to see that he’s quality.
In July, Mendiola became the first player to be named
U.S. Development Academy U15/16 Player of the Year in consecutive seasons following another standout campaign with Arsenal FC.
Mendiola scored 14 goals this past season and continued to win over his many admirers
with his dynamic play. There just aren't many players like him with the ball at his feet.
Having spent half a season in Mexico, his birth country, two years ago with their U15 national team, Mendiola brings an international flair to the pitch.
The 5-foot-5 speedster, who aptly models his game after Messi, has been training with LA Galaxy – often times the reserve team – in preparation for his call to the professional ranks.
“Every training I’ve had to give it my all,” he said. “I’ve been working hard, a lot on the defensive side. I’m looking forward to fulfilling my dream.”