FRISCO, Texas -- FC Dallas midfielder Bryan Leyva has been called to the U-18 Mexican Men's National Team as they prepare for the prestigious Mediterranean International Cup in April. The squad is the same group preparing for the U-20 World Cup in 2011.
"It's an honor and I'm very happy," Leyva said. "Every soccer player wants to play for their national team. I'm very happy and very motivated."
Leyva left Dallas Sunday, March 14, to return to Mexico for training before traveling with the team to Costa Brava, Spain for the tourney, which runs March 30 to April 4. The Mediterranean International Cup is celebrating its 10th anniversary and will feature some of the top competition in the world, including U-18 teams from Manchester United, Ajax and Inter Milan.
For Leyva, who was born in Chihuahua, Mexico, but came to the United States in 2000, the invitation is the culmination of a progression that saw him star as part of the FC Dallas Juniors Program before becoming the first homegrown player to sign with the FC Dallas pro team.
"I've been working really hard, and I just want to keep improving," Levya said. "I'm really well prepared for this tourney, and I want to prove that all of my hard work is paying off."
Leyva joined the FC Dallas Youth Development System in June of 2008 as a member of the U-16 Juniors Team. The midfielder also had training stints with Lille OSC in France and Racing Santander in Spain.
The Mediterranean International Cup will kick off on March 30 with around 160 teams across four age divisions participating on natural and artificial pitches throughout the Northern coast of Spain.