Mexican Soccer

Vidal hoping his journey leads to Pachuca greatness

MarcoVidal (ISIphotos.com)

Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com



Marco Vidal's journey has been like that of many Mexican-American youth pursuing the dream of playing professional soccer. It is a journey that leads players to criss-cross the USA-Mexico border searching for the best options to play top-flight soccer.

The Dallas native enters the 2010 Apertura season with perhaps the best chance to showcase his talents. After his former club Indios was relegated to the Liga Ascenso, the 24-year-old defensive midfielder was selected by Pachuca in the relegation dispersal draft in a move he hopes will pay dividends for his career.

"It's a huge opportunity and I'm very grateful for all that Indios have given me over the past several years," said Vidal. "Coming to an institution like Pachuca, who play in a number of great tournaments and I'm going to need to take advantage of it."

Prior to joining the Tuzos, the 24-year-old spent three seasons with the Indios de Ciudad Juarez. Vidal joined Indios in 2007 after a spell at two other Mexican clubs at a youth level. The Dallas native began his career with the Ciudad Juarez club on the American side of the border, winning the USASA (United States Adult Soccer Association) National Cup with Indios youth team, Indios USA. After leading the club to a youth championship, Vidal was given his chance to feature across the border for Indios. 

As Vidal made his 46 appearances for the senior club, Juarez descended into chaos, ravaged by a drug war that according to Mexican Attorney General  has claimed 24,800 lives.  During Vidal's time with the Indios, he became all too familiar with the dangers of living in Ciudad Juarez.

"It started off calm, but six months after I got there, it started to get pretty ugly and I would have to watch out for myself and I wouldn't be able to go out at night so I would be in my house as soon as the sun set just to be safe," said Vidal. "At a moment, I got carjacked at gunpoint while I was at a red light and after that I just had to take even more precaution."

As he transitions from life in Ciudad Juarez to his future with Pachuca, the hard-nosed defensive midfielder has quickly won over his teammate with his diligence on the training ground. The midfielder earned his first start since joining Pachuca in last night's SuperLiga loss to Chivas USA.  

The midfielder's transition to Pachuca has been less steep due to the presence of fellow Americans Herculez Gomez and Jose Torres. Having the two high-profile American players on the club has proved extremely valuable to Vidal's development and Gomez was quick to compare Vidal's abilities in the midfield to Torres.

"Like Jose, he brings a calmness to the game, if you look back at our send-off series against Turkey, Paco came on and settled us down from the defensive midfield spot and I think that Marco brings the same kind of qualities," said Gomez.  "His experience in playing with Indios and what they've gone through has definitely seasoned him as a player and that will definitely help our squad."

Much like Torres and other Latinos in America, Vidal has had to straddle the two cultures as he dreams of a national team call-up. Eligible for both the United States and Mexico, the Dallas native remains coy on his preferences, but is focused on his goals with the Tuzos. 

"Right now my goal is to start with this team and it would be great to be called up to the national team because that's what every soccer player wants," said Vidal. "I'm open minded right now and if the United States call me first then that's where I'll go."

  • BSU SC

    Call him up now just to be safe. Let’s see him in NYC against Brazil. Maybe he’ll be able to work his way onto the Gold Cup roster.


  • Mat

    Calling a player for Brazil or any other friendly doesn’t tie him to the national side. Only games that actually count for something (i.e. FIFA recognized tournaments) will make a player committed to our team.


  • Stpauljosh

    Pachuca should open an English version of their site. Ive been hitting it for a month now looking for a torres, gomez, Vidal jersey. I’m really excited to watch them this year.


  • Mark

    We have a ton of guys who be play as holding midfielders in the pool, so lets not get nuts and start capping guys who haven’t even locked down a starting role yet on his club team. If he plays well his chance will come…


  • MensreaJim

    I really like Marco. He posts occasionally on some US soccer websites–just as a commenter, not a guest blogger–and he seems like a good kid.

    He said before he had been living in El Paso for some time with his family, so I’m sure he was relieved to get out of Juarez, if not how it went down.

    Hopefully he can get more time in at LB with Pachuca; I don’t know how good his chances in our midfield are at this point.


  • ELAC

    Vidal was quality last night for the Tuzos. I think he brings a Masrtoeni type toughness (well, when Pablo was in his prime). He has good pace and good vision.


  • Oranje Mike

    I’m not opposed to capping a guy “just because”. You never know what will happen down the line with injuries and development. I’d like to see the deepest pool possible. Plus I don’t want to see another Subotic. Our system does have a history of overlooking players.

    But in all honestly I don’t know anything about this kid other this article. Wish him all the best.


  • Oranje Mike

    That’s a good idea. I think, at the very least, it would generate more traffic to the website.


  • Benjamin

    Good point on Pachuca needing an English version. I’ve sent them a message and have offered to help them. We’ll see.


  • EAscott

    Great Article. I’ll have to check out the archived game on MLSoccer.com….


  • Isaac

    It’s very interesting to see Ives call him a hard-nosed defensive midfielder and then see Herculez call him someone who brings a calmness to the game. Is this kid a Xabi Alonsi kind of player? That’s a question for anyone who sees him a lot. From what I saw last night, he looks like that kind of player. If he is, we should call him up. Not now or anything, but when we get a good chance. A defensive midfielder behind Bradley works well, but a defensive midfielder that brings composure, vision, and skill on the ball? That’s just about every USA fan’s dream. Basically, Mo Edu and Paco Torres mixed together.


  • einar

    I was wondering last night if that was another vidal or actually marco vidal. that is pretty cool since i have always like pachuca. Now US fans have 3 players to cheer for in one team that is going to be many toujrnaments. p.s. I started liking them when they had a bunch of colombians on the team at one point.


  • Vik

    This guy is listed as being able to play LB too! Maybe capping him wouldn’t be a horrible idea…


  • hugo

    vidal is a xabi alonso type player…id say he plays the DM role on the finesse side of the game, like estaban cambiasso/xabi alonso…which would be fantastic for the USMNT…but doesnt fit the system the US favors to play…


  • jonk

    Tacking America onto Fulham worked cause it’s English to English. Maybe this one could be “Estados Pachunidos”


  • Isaac

    Actually, I think that kind of player is perfect for the USA’s system. There is always a place for a tough defensive midfielder in the USA’s lineup, but one that can pass and move the ball exceptionally well is excellent because even if the USA doesn’t play through him in the midfield, his defensive ability is always useful. Moreover, if the USA DOES play through him, he can keep possession, provide a passing outlet, and set a tempo for the game while still allowing Bradley into the attack by sitting deep. The problem for the USA has been that when they play these compact flat lines of four in a 4-4-2, they leave a space between the defense and midfield that guys like Kaka, Birsa or anyone with creativity and a good outside shot can take advantage of. When Edu stepped in, he sat back, closed down that space, let Bradley get forward and chase the ball around the center of the field in front of Edu to make it tough for teams to play up the middle. With Vidal, you get that same effect, except you basically add a Torres like presence to Edu. People say Torres doesn’t fit into the USA’s system, but I disagree. There’s nothing wrong with a central midfielder like Torres that passes incredibly well, because that makes getting the ball into the attack easier because he can play it fast like the USA wants or at a different tempo. The problem is that he doesn’t have the defensive skills to close down the space in front of the defense like Clark, Edu, or even Vidal, although he certainly positions himself well.


  • manny AO L.A



  • Classlessjerk

    I can’t wait for the day when we can say, “he plays the DM role on the finesse side of the game, like estaban cambiasso/xabi alonso,” which fits perfectly in our system.


  • phil

    great article. is he interested in being a yank? is he interested in playing left fullback?


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