FRISCO, Texas — It took less than two games in the 2019 regular season for Homegrown midfielder Edwin Cerrillo to make his MLS debut against the LA Galaxy.
Two months later, the 19-year-old was called up to the U-20 National Team for the World Cup in Poland. He didn’t feature in any games in the tournament, but he got an invaluable experience in what was his first call-up to a national team in his career.
“I think with my situation — I wasn’t playing — but I had that mentality of putting the team first, just being there for my teammates,” Cerrillo said. “Honestly, I thought after the first game, if I didn’t get to play, I’d be mad. But, I took that energy and put the team first, and I’m really proud of myself for that.”
Cerrillo will get another opportunity to represent FC Dallas in another country, but this time, it will be with four other Academy products as they travel to Germany to train with Bayern Munich from Nov. 11-25 through the clubs’ Elite Player Development Partnership.
Within a nine-month span, Cerrillo has gone from signing his first professional contract as FC Dallas’s MLS-leading 26th Homegrown to training with one of the best and most prestigious teams in world football.
“I’m going in there with other teammates, so it’s going to help our confidence,” Cerrillo said. “We know what we’re capable of, and I think we’re going to have talks and we’re going to say that we can compete with those guys. Overall, we want to measure our talents with them.”
Cerrillo’s path to the first team has been intertwined with Head Coach Luchi Gonzalez. Cerrillo was the first Homegrown player signed under Gonzalez, and the two have worked together in the past through the Academy.
Since joining FC Dallas at 15 years old, Gonzalez has been able to watch Cerrillo grow over the years, and to coach him in MLS games has been special for both of them.
“I think if you look at before the season and at the end of the season — not knowing what was going to happen — I would say that was very positive for Edwin. Knowing that he debuted, that he helped us win games, he got to play at the U-20 World Cup, he got to be involved in a NTSC championship, and he got into the last game against Seattle. Really positive for him and his growth.”
In the next few days, Cerrillo will travel to Germany where he will be able to show a team in another country what he can do. The potential for the trip can be massive for all parties involved. Last season, after participating in a training stint with Bayern Munich, FCD Homegrown Chris Richards transferred to the Bundesliga club after impressing the coaching staff.
The trip will be a great step for his development, and he’ll get to be in an intense training environment that will only make him better as a player. Coming from a small town like Waco, Texas, Cerrillo will get to show Bayern what a kid from the Lone Star State can do.
“One of my goals when I go out there is to show them that I am good enough to compete at that level,” Cerrillo said. “I want to hopefully make a good impression.”