ACUNA STAYING HUMBLE AMID SUCCESS
Isaac Acuna says he is just taking things in stride while in the midst of his impressive stretch with Mexican club Gallos Blancos that has thrust the American midfielder into the spotlight.
Acuna joined the Queretaro-based club on-loan from Club America prior to the 2011 Clausura but did not make his debut until week six.
The following week versus Santos, Acuna made a very auspicious debut with a goal and an assist in an upset 0-2 win in Torreon. That preceded arguably the finest goal scored by an American player abroad in 2011 when Acuna fired in a laser from 35 yards out against Cruz Azul during the teams' 1-1 draw.
Now in the middle of a sudden surge of attention from fans and media alike, the native of Calexico, California says his outlook is simple and straightforward when it comes to playing.
"After the goal against Cruz Azul, I have more confidence to do good things and the motivation to improve," Acuna recently told YA. "I see myself as someone who enjoys playing soccer and improving every day."
Acuna actually made his Mexican Primera Division debut in last year's Clausura when he featured in an April contest against Jaguares while he was still with America.
But the 21 year old found himself stuck on depth chart with the legendary club and pursued a loan option which would give him opportunities for more playing time.
Acuna notes that while America boasts a roster with more experienced players, he enjoys playing with Gallos Blancos where he has gained his own experience and confidence.
"The big difference is that America have more players with experience and the ones in Queretaro are younger," explained Acuna. "But I feel very adjusted here and they treat me well and more than anything they have given me the confidence to play which is they did not do at America. Primarily I just want to do well here in Queretaro and next season we'll see what happens."
Like so many players now in the US system, Acuna is a dual citizen who was born in the US but also has the option to play internationally for Mexico through his parents.
In light of the spectacular goal against Cruz Azul, many US soccer fans are asking the question whether national team head coach Bob Bradley should consider Acuna for one his future camps.
It is a question that Acuna says he has not really thought about and he believes he still has a long ways to go before receiving any national team call-up.
"The truth is that I haven't thought about it," Acuna said about his international future. "Time will tell but I do know that I first need to improve before joining a national team, but thankfully I am on a good path to do that."
In regards to where his international loyalties currently are, Acuna quips that he will likely suit up for the national team that decides to pick up the phone first to request his services.
"I guess I would choose the one that first calls me," he concluded.
Acuna and Gallos Blancos return to action this weekend when they travel to play Apertura champions Monterrey.