Arriola, the NSCAA 2012 Boys Player of the Year and US Soccer Program youth star, is one of the best young prospects in the country. His departure from the Galaxy came as a big loss for the club, but Arriola explained to the 91st Minute why he feels it’ll be a gain for him.
“After training with Tijuana in December, then going to preseason with LA in January I was able to get a feel for how I’d fit in at both of the clubs,” Arriola told us. “I made very clear to all of my options (LA Galaxy and UCLA) that I wanted to be a pro and Tijuana was very much an option.”
Biggest factors in your decision were … “The main thing that I want is to continue to develop and grow as a player, I am still young and believe in myself that in a good, professional environment I can continue to develop for the next couple of years and with the Under20 league down there. The fact that I will get great games down there where I will be pushed to be better (is important).”
What connection do you have with Tijuana?
“The Xolos is my home team. Growing up and living in Chula Vista, 10 miles from the border of Tijuana, Xolos fans are everywhere. Everyone in Chula Vista, and I’d say most of San Diego, roots for Xolos.”
What are you most looking forward to?
“Being in a professional environment and playing games. Mexico isn’t the easiest places for some people to play in, but I think that the way Club Tijuana is set up they provide a lot more support than most clubs do. I am extremely excited to start the next season and I thank God for the wonderful opportunity that he has given me!