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Alfredo Morales holds no regrets about choosing USMNT over Peru

Alfredo Morales USMNT 56

photo by Steve Flynn/USA Today Sports


WASHINGTON — Alfredo Morales may have only ever visited Peru once as a child and may not speak Spanish, but none of that ever stopped him from idolizing Peruvian players while growing up in Germany.

Like any young and impressionable soccer fan, Morales had his share of role models that he watched with devout enthusiasm. Naturally, he drifted towards Bundesliga players, but not all of the ones he looked up to were from his native land. Morales also deeply revered players from his father’s home country of Peru, players like talented attackers Claudio Pizarro and Jefferson Farfan who plied their trades in Germany’s top division at the time.

Reminiscing of childhood heroes usually brings back fond memories and feelings, but thinking of them is one thing. Seeing them up close and personal is quite another. Yet it is the latter which Morales could experience on Friday, as the U.S. Men’s National Team welcomes Farfan and some of the Peruvian players that Morales continues to keep track of to this day to RFK Stadium for an international friendly.

“I loved Claudio Pizarro because he was like an idol to me,” said Morales. “I think he was a fantastic player. Also (Jefferson) Farfan is an unbelievable player. He’s had a lot of injuries the last couple of years, but he’s a great player. I’m very happy, and I hope I can be a part of the game on Friday and see what happens.”

Instead of playing against the Peruvians, Morales could have potentially been playing alongside them. He was eligible to represent the South American country at the international level because of his father’s lineage, but passed on that opportunity.

The 25-year-old midfielder always felt very connected to the United States – who he was eligible to suit up for because his father was enlisted in the military – and not even public interest from the then-head coach of Peru or substantial media coverage during the 2014 World Cup cycle was enough to sway him away.

“I never spoke to somebody from the federation or the coaches or whatever,” said Morales.

Even so, Morales got input from his dad about Peru the team and Peru the country. Not everything was described as rosy, especially not after Morales publicly stated he was picking the red, white and blue over the red and white.

“I’m not the type of going through the internet and read everything about me, (but) my dad sometimes he told me that the media in Peru, they are very aggressive” said Morales. “They wrote some bad things about me, but I don’t care about this. I’m very happy to be here, play for the U.S., represent this country, great amazing country, and that’s all I want to think about.”

In truth, it has almost always been what he has thought about it. He decided to try and play for the U.S. over Peru or Germany when he was still just a teenager, representing the Americans’ Under-20 team first, then the Under-23 side, and finally transitioning into the senior group.

He did so because he loved the U.S. despite never living in it, was a fan of everything it had to offer and believed playing for the North American nation was the best decision for him.

There was never any doubt about that then, and there certainly isn’t any now.

“I never had three choices,” said Morales. “For me, I made a choice to play for the U.S. when I was 17, so that was my way, my decision. Nothing else mattered so. For me, I had the chance to play for Germany or Peru, maybe, but I always wanted to play for the U.S.”

Now, Morales may get a chance to showcase the form he’s been on at FC Ingolstadt against the other of the two countries that seriously considered bringing him on board. It will admittedly be a memorable match for him, especially since he will have family members in the stands.

Those sentiments will, however, be pushed aside if he steps on the field. His aim is to try and help the U.S. pick up a win no matter what.

Yet another example of how he’s more than happy with the decision he made.

“Obviously, because of my background it’s a very special game,” said Morales. “Yes, I’m very excited and looking forward, but I want to beat them on Friday.”


  1. Match fixing?

    I’m sure it happens but I have no idea if the US- Spain match was fixed.

    I saw that game and I found the victory entirely plausible if unexpected.

    In no particular order:

    1. Spain did not take the US seriously. I don’t care what anyone says it was very obvious they were complacent and did not rate the US. They underestimated them and did not take them seriously throughout the entire game.

    2. Many of the US players played the game of their lives. And they had their share of luck. Dempsey’s goal was excellent and well taken but he also got more than a little lucky with it.

    3. Bob Bradley’s tactics were perfect and his players executed them perfectly. The tactics were so good that Switzerland copied them and used them to beat Spain1-0 in the 2010 WC.

    So while unexpected, the US beating Spain that day was not as impossible as it may have seemed.

  2. rossi didn’t fit the plan, perhaps?

    i wonder if the usa victory over spain in the confederations cup was rigged (match-fixing). and i wonder if rossi’s knee injuries that kept him out of world cups were criminal (i.e. someone paid someone money to injure his knees).

    from the ny times on june 24, 2009:
    Americans Stun Spain and the Soccer World
    “Wednesday’s 2-0 win in the semifinals of the Confederations Cup, built on goals by Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey and by a disciplined and impenetrable defense, halted Spain’s 35-game unbeaten streak and gave the European champions their first defeat since November 15, 2006.”

    wow, what an amazing performance the usa must have had that day! (sarcasm intended)

    i saw this entire match, and i wonder if it was match-fixing. i wonder if they (the spanish team) let us (the usa) score. like when you play checkers with a small child. you let them win. you make moves. you take some of their checkers off the board. you just make sure that, you know, at the end of the checker game, they win.

    boxing: a boxer can throw the match easily. he can punch and make contact with the other guy. it looks like they are fighting. indeed, they are fighting. he just makes sure that, you know, at the end of the match, he’s on the mat and the other guy is standing.

    i wonder if that is what we all witnessed when usa “defeated” spain in confed cup.

    rossi: was he “jobbed”? my skeptical mind wonders this. first, rossi chooses italy over usa. then, in 2006 wc, in usa-italy game, he scores against usa, yes? and he really celebrates this goal and he enjoys it, yes? will this happen again? no. why? b/c he will suffer knee injuries and be unable to play.

    i wonder if there isn’t a conspiracy within fifa to cause the usa to win the wc artificially soon.
    – easy path to qualification for usa in concacaf (super easy compared to europe)
    – match-fixing: does it ever happen to benefit the usa? such as possibly the usa-spain match in 2006?
    – fifa’s ranking for usa – does fifa rank usa too high, on purpose, to decieve the public about the usa team’s actual strength (make people believe usa team is better than they actually are)?
    – confed cup – was it created especially to benefit the usa? think about it. how else would the usa ever play against a team such as spain in the first place, without the confed cup? it’s easy for the usa to qualify for confed cup, and confed cup is excellent practice for the wc.
    – relaxing rules for capping overseas players who were not born in usa: is this happening? purposely to help usa win wc with players that, in the past, would not have been allowed to play for usa? (i’m not saying it’s right or wrong. i’m saying, is this in fact what’s happening?)

    if usa wins wc, i’m certain that fifa stands to gain A FORTUNE OF DOLLARS. so there is the motive, i think.

    was rossi the unfortunate victim of a “usa wins wc at all costs” conspiracy?

    i wonder.

  3. guys, Rossi not being at the WC’s had to do with him blowing out his knee… twice… he would definitely have played in both otherwise. The coaches and federation love him, and Fiorentina love him.

    I hate that he chose Italy over the US, but he made that choice at like 6/7… and moved back to train with Chievo (I think). point being, dude missed out on nothing by choosing Italy.

  4. Ahh … Mr Rossi. He could have experienced at least two World Cups if he had chosen the USA (and helped us with advancing further). Instead, he was dropped by Italy twice. An Italian friend of mine said he should have been on the team based on skill alone, but it was politics that kept him out. Has he been part of Italy’s Euro Qualifying campaign?

    • Rossi missed the 2010 WC due to a knee injury.

      He was back in the final 30 for 2014 but did not make the final 23. You could argue he was lucky to make the 30 as he had just gotten back from yet another knee injury. Or he could have been a victim of “politics” whatever that means..

      He scored 16 goals for Fiorentina last season and he is 28 so he has an outside shot at Russia if he retains his form.

      He’s never made the slightest suggestion that he regrets his choice. I’m sure he wishes he had had better luck with injuries.

    • I thought Rossi was overcoming another bad injury during the run up to 2014. Good point about him having the chance to feature in two WC for the stars and stripes. I wonder if he would honestly say he’d rather be hurt or cut by Italy then actually play in a WC for the US. Of course this is assuming he wouldn’t have gotten hurt and missed out for the US anyways.

      • Rossi could not have played for the US or Italy in the 2010 WC.

        Maybe he could have recovered in time from another knee injury to make the 2014 US squad but I would argue that for a player based in Europe, playing for the US, rather than Italy, involves significantly more travel.

        And that is not good for guys who are proven to be injury prone. There is a real good chance that he would have been unfit for the US or Italy or anyone in 2014.

  5. This is totally Ives’ Giuseppe Rossi. The one that got away. Rumor has it, Ives doesn’t even look Morales in the eyes when conducting an interview, because he is fueled with so much anger at Morales’ decision.


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