OWTY recently spoke with midfielder Edson Murguia who moved traded his USSDA jersey for a Club Leon shirt last winter. Murguia’s excellent play with Leon caught the eye of US Youth scouts, and was invited to US’ last U15 camp.
Murguia’s journey is one that many top young Mexican-Americans seem to be choosing.
OWTY :: When & Where did you first start playing soccer?
Edson Murguia [EM] :: I started playing at age 5 in Kansas City, Missouri. I was playing with a team called Chivitas that was coached by my Dad and Uncle. It was just a neighborhood team with a bunch of my friends and cousins.
OWTY :: When did you know you could make a career out of soccer?
EM :: Well I still have a long way before I make a career out of it, but I first realized I had a gift when I joined Sporting Kansas City Academy at 12. That is when I started to realize that my hard work and training was paying off. I knew that if I kept working as hard as I could I would have the ability to reach my dream of becoming a professional soccer player.
OWTY :: What is the difference between the youth system in the United States vs. Mexico?
EM :: The difference is that out here in Mexico players work harder to get where they want to be. In Mexico they live, eat, sleep soccer. People look at it a different way. It’s a lifestyle, and in the U.S. people can rely on school and have a lot more options to establish a good career. More players in Mexico tend to work harder to get where they want to be in soccer because there is a direct path to first team football. I also think the coaching is much better in Mexican Academies than overall in the US system. They push you harder in order to help you reach your goals.
OWTY :: You recently made you debut with the US U15s. What did you take out of the camp?
EM :: The biggest thing I took from the camp was to never be afraid to express myself. I was told not to play nervous and always be confident when I have the ball. I was told to show off all of my abilities and that gave me the belief to do what I was capable of.
OWTY :: It is widely believed that the US ’99s are the most talented group in he entire US system. Talk about how it was to link up with them and who are some of the players that really impressed you?
EM :: My experience with the ’99s was very good but also incredibly challenging. All the players were very good and showed lots of promise. You could find everything at the camp. Speed, strength, balls skills, technique, vision, simply everything. It was a great experience to match up with the class of players especially Nic Taitague and Lucas del Rosario, those two in particular impressed me, however all the other players were much more refined than some people say.
OWTY :: Talk about your interaction with Coach Hugo Perez?
EM :: My interaction with Coach Perez was very good. I learned so much in a matter of just days. Coach Hugo is a great guy and an easy person to interact with. He talked to me often which made the transition into camps very simple. He made thins easier on and off the putch because he would give me all the confidence to let me show my ability.
OWTY :: Why did you leave the USSDA & Chicago Magic PSG for Club Leon?
EM :: Chicago Magic PSG is a great club, one of the top in USSDA, and I am thankful for all the things they did for me. I am thankful they gave me the opportunity to play for them, but I wanted to take my soccer the to next level. I knew the only way was to leave and go play down in Mexico to chase my dream of finding first team soccer.
OWTY :: You are a midfielder by trade, what are some aspects of that role you like?
EM :: My favorite part of being a midfielder is getting a lot of touches on the ball and creating opportunities for my team. I enjoy being the leader to my team and dictating the pace of the game. Like everyone, I love to score, but getting and assist is an equally rewarding feeling.
OWTY :: Who are some of the players you model your game after?
EM :: I model myself after some of the legends, Zidane, Xavi and Fabergas. I like watching players that have outstanding technique and field vision.
OWTY :: You seem to be included in a number of competitions for Club Leon U17s. Describe the level of play and how it fits your style?
EM :: The level and style here in Leon fit me perfectly. Our style is to keep the ball and then attack. We are told we need to be clinical in the final third and run at defenders when we get the chance. Most importantly we are told to play with character and personality on the field. Much like Coach Hugo told me to do at the US camp.
OWTY :: Describe for our readers what the sub-15 competition is like down in Mexico?
EM :: I primarily play with the Leon U17s, but when I wen to the sub-15 tournament in Mexico City the competition was very high because every Liga MX team participates in the tournament and sends their best young players. There are also lots of Mexican National Team scouts in attendance so everyone is trying to do their best.
OWTY :: Where do you hope your career takes you over the next year? 5 years?
EM :: My goal over the next year is to become a leader at Leon and take the U17s to Liga MX playoffs, and begin training continuously with the U20s. In the next five years I expect to see myself starting in Leon’s first team and be hopefully part of a national team. I also aspire to be playing somewhere in Europe participating in Champion’s League.