SANTA CLARA CA - SEPTEMBER 11: Jason Hernandez #21 of the San Jose Earthquakes and Ruben Luna #34 of FC Dallas go for the ball at Buck Shaw Stadium on September 11 2010 in Santa Clara California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Late this afternoon news was broken by FC Dallas that Ruben Luna has been called into Mexico's U-20 camp in preparation for the U-20 World Cup qualifying tournament in Guatemala April 3-17.
This is absolutely huge folks. While Bryan Leyva and Richard Sanchez(U18 Academy goalie) have competed for Mexico's U-17 squad, they were both very much on the radar of Mexico before moving to FC Dallas having trialed or played at major European teams.
Luna, however, is a player whom FC Dallas identified and developed that is now being called into a major foreign national team. What an amazing selling point for FC Dallas to offer to the best young talent in the area and in Mexico. Dallas now has three current Mexican youth national team products on their first team and developmental roster in Ruben Luna(U20), Richard Sanchez(U17) and Bryan Leyva(U17) as well as four players on their U18 Academy roster that have seen time with the USA Youth National Team.
While this is a great thing for Luna and FC Dallas, it also emphasizes just how much Dallas needs to sign another forward or two. If Luna impresses and plays in U20 qualifying for Mexico and goes on to play in the tournament, he will miss a major amount of time with Dallas leaving just one proven forward, Milton Rodriguez, on the roster.
For now though, let's all be happy for Ruben, one of ours, who is getting an unbelievable opportunity to play for his birth country.
The FCD presser with quotes and more information after the jump
FRISCO, Texas (Jan. 25, 2010) – FC Dallas Home Grown player Ruben Luna has been called in to represent the Mexican Under-20 National Team, the club announced today.
Luna arrived at the Centro de Alto Rendimiento in Tlalpan, Mexico City on Sunday, Jan. 23. The Mexican Under-20 camp runs through Thursday, Jan. 27 in preparation for the team’s Panamá and El Salvador tour. Following the camp, the Mexican Under-20 National Team will play six matches in February before beginning preparations for the CONCACAF qualifying tournament for the FIFA Under-20 World Cup.
The qualifying tournament will take place between April 3 and April 17 in Guatemala City, Guatemala. The 2011 FIFA Under-20 World Cup will take place in Colombia from July 29 through Aug. 20, 2011.
“This is fantastic,” FC Dallas Head Coach Schellas Hyndman said. “We’ve always seen tremendous talent in Ruben. Last year, he was able to get on the field and compete. This season, I think he will have a breakout year for us.”
Signed on July 30, 2010, the 18-year-old made his professional debut at Pizza Hut Park on Sept. 4 against Toronto FC. Luna saw eight minutes of action in his debut and seemingly scored his first goal before an offside call nullified it. Luna appeared in three more MLS regular season matches totaling 48 minutes. During FC Dallas’ run to MLS Cup 2010, Luna was in the top 18 for all four of FC Dallas’ postseason matches and made his MLS playoff debut when he came on for Jeff Cunningham in the 77th minute of the Western Conference Semifinal in Salt Lake.
“Ruben is a very gifted player,” Hyndman added. “He is a true finisher. He’s strong and he has a great personality where he continually strives to get better.”
Prior to being signed by FC Dallas, Luna scored a team-high 26 goals in 29 appearances for the U18 FC Dallas Development Academy in 2010. He was named to the U.S. U18 Development Academy Starting XI for his efforts. Luna was also named the U.S. Development Academy Player of the Year for the U16 age group in 2009. He led the U16 team in scoring that year, with 38 goals in 27 games.
About the CONCACAF qualifying tournament
The CONCACAF qualifying tournament for the FIFA Under-20 World Cup will be held in Guatemala City, Guatemala from April 3 through April 17. It will be a 12-team tournament, the preliminary round of which will involve four three-team groups to determine who advances to the quarter-finals. The four semi-finalists will qualify for the FIFA U-20 World Cup