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Arriola impressing with impactful performances for Club Tijuana in first pro season

PaulArriolaClubTijuana1-CDVictoria (ClubTijuana)

Paul Arriola may be just months removed from finishing high school, but that has not stopped him from making a big impact for Club Tijuana in his first pro season.

Whether it is coming off the bench and setting up goals or scoring some his own, Arriola has turned heads in Liga MX this season with his game-changing abilities. The 18 year-old’s run of form at the start of his career has been nothing less than impressive, and is why he has become a fixture for a Xolos team with lofty ambitions.

SBI’s Ives Galarcep spoke with Arriola and wrote a piece on the young Mexican-American over at in which Arriola talks about his decision to choose Tijuana over the LA Galaxy, his surprise at how well he has done at the start of his career, and his national team ambitions.

Give the story a read and let us know what you think about it and Arriola in the comments section below.



    we must hoard dual-nationals like those people on Animal Plant hoard cats and dogs, lest one slip away

    for the remaining WCQ the line-up should be:

    Julian Green (never seen even a second of his play)-Arriola
    that guy from leeds with an American grandfather-Shawn “THE” Facebook Parker (same as Green)
    that guy from Arsenal I heard of recently- Conor Doyle
    Bornstein-Brooks-Seb Hines-Stu Holden’s brother

  2. I wanna see Yarborough! He’d be a good #3 really good challenge for rimando. Better than johnson and hamid.
    I honestly think Gil is better than mixx

  3. “I’m definitely an American player, a U.S. player and my mind has always been with the U.S. I don’t think that will change.”

    That warms my heart.

    • If he does have his Mexican passport through his great-grandfather, he isn’t even eligible to represent Mexico under FIFA rules. You have to have a grandparent or parent born in the country OR live 5 consecutive years there. He lives in San Diego, so even that won’t make him eligible for Mexico.

      • I give lots of props to JF Torres, he was the first of the new batch of Mexican-Americans to come out declaring himself for the USMNT and a whole lot of guys have done so sense. JFT hasn’t even had the best of luck getting to play for the USMNT but he hasn’t been a squeeky wheel about it who knows how that would have impacted people.

      • But he prolly still has friend and family in the area. Hell, there is a good chance he still lives at home. He is what 19?

        I bet he has a place in Mexico though so he can stay if he wants and be away from his family.

      • Any Player who … [assumes] a new nationality and who has not played international football [in a match … in an official competition of any category or any type of football for one Association] shall be eligible to play for the new representative team only if he fulfills one of the following conditions:
        (a) He was born on the territory of the relevant Association;
        (b) His biological mother or biological father was born on the territory of the relevant Association;
        (c) His grandmother or grandfather was born on the territory of the relevant Association;
        (d) He has lived continuously for at least five years after reaching the age of 18 on the territory of the relevant Association.

  4. Arriola is such a talented player. I feel lucky to see him play in person, every Xolos home game. He plays beyond his year, makes an impact each time and is a tremendous addition to this team. Special talent indeed.

  5. I have no idea if Arriola is sincere about money not being a factor because, lets face it, athletes always deny it is about the money even when it obviously is. MLS is almost always going to lose players in Arriola’s situation because in addition to their low pay, they make it difficult for players to move on to other leagues or teams as they get better without a lot of legal transfer drama. Good luck to Paul, I hope it is only the beginning.

    • Too be fair to MLS, Mexico isn’t exactly a place where players can move easily. Look at their draft and compensation required even for out of contract players to old clubs with no time limit.

      • Mexicos player movement (or lack thereof) is a byproduct of the Mexican owners pact not to allow a player to move without the consent of the previous club. Those types of agreements would no doubt be of questionable legality in the US but it seems to work for them so, hey.

  6. This is a special player. I feel lucky to see this guy play in person during the Xolos games, he has been a tremendous addition to this team. Special talent indeed, plays beyond his years.

  7. Great article, Ives. I assumed Arriola chose the Xolos over the Gs because of money. Evidently money was not the reason for his decision. Interesting how TJ have fit him into their first team while LA told him he’d likely not get many first-team minutes. Speaks to the quality of Tijuana’s coaching staff that they’d trust in and further develop his abilities.

  8. Once thing Ives frequently says is not to let expectations get out of whack with young players. Arriola has started off nicely this season but let’s remember he’s played a grand total of 7 league games a professional. So I don’t think he’s ready for USMNT duty yet.

    • Given that we have already qualified for the WC and that a game against Scotland is a meanigless friendly, I don’t see any harm in giving young talent an opportunity in these games.

      • The Scotland game is a friendly but it is not meaningless to the US players and the coaches.

        There are still guys playing for a place in Brazil.

        Arriola is a promising but we’ve seen young Americans start out great before. He needs to prove he is not a flash in the pan.

    • Let’s not put the hype machine in overdrive. Yes, he has impressive pace and composure for someone his age, but he’s not going to challenge the young USMNT strikers that are proven goal-scorers for a spot in this world cup (Johannson, Boyd). Time enough to start hyperventilating later. Donovan and Beasley were already experienced pros and consistent goal-scoring threats when they were put on the 2002 roster at age 18.


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