With USMNT attention, Alan Soñora prepares for 2022

Alan Sonora has had a breakout year in 2021 with Independiente – historically one of Argentina’s biggest clubs. He will now look to build on his momentum in 2022 while pushing for his first-ever call-up to the United States at any level. Those hopes were boosted recently by a call from Gregg Berhalter. ASN Arch Bell reports.

THROUGH

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January 25, 2022

5:00 AM

WITH EACH Announcement of the US Men’s National Team roster leaves fans cringing and wondering why player X or Y wasn’t selected by head coach Gregg Berhalter.

Over the past six months, one of those players who has become a “What abouts?” is Alan Soñora, a 23-year-old silky left-handed midfielder with Argentine club Independiente.

New Jersey-born Soñora emerged as a starter for El Rojo last season in the Primera Division, scoring four goals in 19 games, while also lead all players in passing accuracy in the Argentine top flight with a 90.1% completion rate on 798 passes in total.

An official summons from Berhalter has yet to take place, but the player and US Soccer have now confirmed to ASN that there has been contact between the two.

“Yes, [Berhalter] called. I was talking with him, I was talking with several assistants, Nico Estevez, about the training camp in December and if I could go there, but I knew that I was still in my season with Independiente,” Soñora told ASN. .

“But still it’s great that the national team, the coach and his assistants call you and you know they’re watching you. I just need to keep improving and hope for the future. invitation.

“When he called, he spoke well of me. The downside was that I couldn’t go there because of the Independiente games. They also talked about if I could go to January camp, but it just stayed there.

“The fact that the coach calls you motivates you. It tells you that you are doing it right and so I have to keep doing it right to have a chance,” Soñora added.

Soñora also revealed that several MLS teams had kicked the tires to see if it was possible to lure the playmaker to play in his home country, but no formal offers were forthcoming. was ever made. It’s just as well for Soñora, who is firmly focused on what lies ahead in 2022 for Independiente.

“We have three competitions this season. Copa Sudamericana, Copa Argentina and the national championship. It’s wonderful to play the Copa Sudamericana again. International tournaments are very important for this club. Independiente is one of the biggest clubs in Argentina, with a lot of history and demands that you fight in all the competitions you play,” said Soñora.

Soñora’s breakout in the second half of 2021 came on the heels of which he barely received playing time under former boss Julio Cesar Falcioni in the first half. Still, injuries and absences opened the door for Soñora halfway through and he seized the opportunity with both hands. Soñora credits his former coach for keeping him ready when his chance presented itself.

“In the first half of last year I couldn’t play much, but I was lucky to be in a team with Falcioni there, who made me train, he m supported me a lot, because when a player doesn’t play, he’s difficult. I also had the support of my parents to continue, so I always trained and prepared myself whenever I had the chance. “opportunity to play, I would do it as best I could. Fortunately, Falcioni gave me a chance and I was able to play,” said Soñora.

Falcioni is now gone from Independiente, replaced by Eduardo Dominguez, a former Los Angeles Galaxy player who was lauded for guiding Colon to the most unlikely of crowns when he won the 2021 Copa Diego Armando Maradona, the first-ever title of the club.

Through three pre-season matches under Dominguez, Soñora appears in mid-season form, already scoring a goal in a 2-1 win over River Plate last Friday.

“We started with a new coach, we are still in pre-season, which is very difficult. Now that we are playing games, we are starting to relax more, find our football rhythm and to improve each time.

“When a new coach arrives, everyone starts from zero, we are all in the same place. My goal is to keep playing, to grow and to try to be in the starting XI.

“I think from Eduardo people can expect an Independiente team that is a protagonist in the games. Eduardo wants intense football, sometimes direct, sometimes positional depending on how the game is going. We have worked with him these two weeks, so we’ve only just started,” Soñora said.

Unfortunately for the Soñora family and USMNT fans, there will be no possibility of a “Clásico Soñora” in the 2022 regular season against older brother and Banfield striker Joel Soñora, who played in the FIFA World Cup. 2015 FIFA Under 20 with USA.

Independiente and Banfield find themselves in different groups for the 2022 season, so the highly anticipated brother-vs.-brother and first-ever American vs. American player in Argentina will have to wait.

“Banfield is in the other group, so we won’t be playing against them this year. I hope that one day it will happen because it would be wonderful,” concluded Soñora.

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