Chivas USA's Zamora gains experience with US U-20s

Midfielder led squad to an 8th place finish in Dutch tournament

 

CARSON, Calif. – Cesar Zamora is only 19 years old, but his resume already boasts an impressive list of international experience.

The Chivas USA midfielder has become an important part of the United States U-20 National Team and has just returned from two weeks in the Netherlands, where he served as part of the squad that competed in the International Cor Groenewegan Tournament.

“It was a good tournament,” said Zamora after training on Wednesday. “We had a lot of new players on the team, so we had to get together and really figure things out, but it went well.”

The tournament was played in an abbreviated format, with each game lasting only 40 minutes. The US started its campaign on May 22 with a 2-1 loss to Japan, a 0-0 draw to Brazilian side Clube Atlético Mineiro and a 1-0 victory over Belgian side Lokeren.

Day Two, which was played on May 24, saw the US face off against two Dutch sides. The team played to a 0-0 draw with Utrecht before garnering a solid 1-0 win over Heerenveen to finish 8th place out of 12 in the tournament.

“We started off slow, but I think we really picked it up as the tournament went along,” said Zamora. “We ended up playing solidly and being hard to play against.”

With two U-20 call-ups already under his belt before the Holland tournament, Zamora served as one of the leaders for the squad during the 11-day trip.

“This was my third camp, so my confidence was good,” said Zamora. “I felt good about my play. I think I did pretty well, but there’s still stuff I can work on, [such as] being more active and more communicative on the field.”

The United States U-20s are coached by former Chivas USA helmer Thomas Rongen, who remains a good friend to the club and a source of information about the Red-and-White’s young talents.

“We saw Thomas this past weekend and were able to speak with him about our guys [at the tournament],” said Chivas USA head coach Martín Vásquez. “They keep making progress. They’re doing well and they’re going to keep getting called up. That’s great for us.”

Zamora returns to a Goats squad that hasn’t taken points from a league match since May 5 against New England. The young California native is excited to get back to work with his teammates to try and dig the Red-and-White out of their current hole.

“It’s always good to come back to your club,” said Zamora. “Coming back here, I try to play with the same intensity that I played with in Holland. The coaches asked me how the tournament went, and now we move forward together here at Chivas.”