The Pumas and United States Under-23 international winger Sebastian Saucedo said USMNT had a better future than Mexico because of the number of players at major European clubs, and added that he believed that the Liga MX-based players had been dumped by US coach Gregg Berhalter and his staff.
The 23-year-old Mexico-U.S. Double national said he spoke regularly with his Pumas teammates and Mexican internationals such as Johan Vasquez about the promising generation of young players in the US setup. He said Mexico are being held back by Liga MX clubs asking inflated prices for young players, and believes the United States has the advantage of moving forward.
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“There are a lot of really good players in Mexico, but the reality is what we talked about,” Saucedo said in an interview with ESPN's Ahora o Nunca. “I think [Chivas striker Jose Juan] Macias talked about [Mexican clubs] selling [ing] very high. It's a difficult problem in Mexico because they deserve to go to Europe. [Macias] It's just because the point is that in MLS, they sell them for less to give them a showing in Europe, that's where the USMNT wins. I see a better future for the USMNT for the players who play at Juventus, Chelsea, Leipzig… ”
When asked if MLS will close the quality gap with Liga MX, Saucedo said he sees them “close in the future”, but the Mexican Premier League continues to grow stronger.
The former Real Salt Lake player recently returned to training after an injury and is focused on creating an impact for the title-seeking Pumas. However, he is pessimistic about future opportunities to play for the senior United States team.
“The US national team didn't call me and I'm focused on the Under 23s,” Saucedo said. “I hope [the] Tokyo [Olympics] will perform, but I'm more focused on my club than the national team because I don't think the opportunities will present themselves here in Mexico. “
“There are players in Europe who play and they are called up just because they play in Europe,” he continued. “They underappreciate the Mexican league. The Mexican league has spectacular players who are called up to their national teams. And that seems a little unfair. ”
Saucedo played for the US U20s at the 2017 World Cup alongside RB Leipzig's Tyler Adams and Werder Bremen's Josh Sargent and was in the frame to be involved for the U23s in the CONCACAF Olympic qualifier. in Guadalajara last March, until his suspension. due to the coronavirus pandemic.
But a full national team call is yet to come for Saucedo, who became a regular starter for Pumas in his debut season in Mexico.
“It's a little frustrating,” he said. “There are players who deserve to be in the national team and there are others who don't. It's football. ”
California-born Saucedo said the last contact he had with the entire U.S. national team was after signing for Pumas in early 2020.
“The last time someone called was Gregg Berhalter in January when I arrived at Pumas, but I think maybe he thought I was coming here for the Mexican national team and an opportunity. [with El Tri], ”Saucedo said.” Pumas are a huge team that has players from the Mexican national team and he maybe thought my decision would be [to go with] Mexico. I never intended to come for the Mexican national team. “