Published: February 15, 2012
U.S. U17 World Cup veteran Esteban Rodriguez has only been with Club Tijuana for two weeks, but he seems to be making a really good impression at the Mexican top division club.
TopDrawerSoccer.com reported the signing
in early February after Rodriguez left Chivas USA Academy and signed his first professional contract with Club Tijuana.
Last weekend, Rodriguez continued his climb through the ranks at his new club with a start for the reserve team in a 1-0 win over Cruz Azul before the first teams played. The 18-year-old midfielder played 77 minutes in the game, and was the lone American to feature on the day.
“When I first put on the jersey, I felt a little nervous, but also full of joy and excitement,” Rodriguez told TopDrawerSoccer.com about suiting up for his first professional game.
The nerves had no factor on his game though, as Rodriguez revealed after his first touch he felt comfortable with his new team.
“I felt like I did well,” Rodriguez said. “It was kind of tough in the beginning but as soon as I touched the ball, all my nervousness went away. I had a blast.”
After being subbed out late in the game, Rodriguez said the coaches gave him some positive encouragement.
“The coaches congratulated me on my first professional game,” Rodriguez said. “They also said that I did a good job.”
The midfield maestro realizes he still has work to do and people to impress. When asked if he was invited to the upcoming U20 camp, Rodriguez said he was not included on the roster.
“[It means] I have to work even harder then.”