It seems as though it’s only a matter of time before we start hearing more about Club Tijuana’s Ernesto "Moe" Espinoza. During the past several mon
It seems as though it’s only a matter of time before we start hearing more about Club Tijuana’s Ernesto “Moe” Espinoza.
During the past several months, the 17-year-old from San Ysidro has not only emerged as a key figure in Xolos’ U17 roster, but also as a member of the U18 and U19 squad for the USMNT.
In a recent interview with Soccer Nation’s Cesar Hernandez, the young attacking midfielder chatted about his start with Tijuana, his goals for the near future, and also a bit about his favorite taco spots in the area.
“I started playing [for Xolos] around 13. Since then, I have been with the club,” stated Espinoza. “They scouted me at a couple of tournaments here in San Diego, playing for Nomads.”
As seen in his prominent role with the organization during the past couple of years, the decision to incorporate the American was a smart one by Tijuana management. After initially appearing as a backup for the U13 and U15 rosters, Espinoza eventually became a vital member of Xolos’ starting XI for the U17 side.
In his most recent tournament, the midfielder provided two goals during the regular season and collected a third in the playoff quarterfinal series against Tigres. With Espinoza in the starting XI, Tijuana was able to make it to the U17 semifinals of the Apertura competition.
Garnering regular appearances boosts confidence, and with plenty of playing time under his belt, the teenager is now eyeing another possible move up Tijuana’s ladder.
“My goal is to get more minutes,” said Espinoza. “Maybe play an age up and try to get more practice in with the first team.”
It’s no surprise that the national team has also been eyeing the promising Xolos player. In 2016, Espinoza was involved with both the U19 and U18 set-up for the USMNT.
“I think I have like two goals with them [this year]. Recently we were in Florida, but before then, we were in the Czech Republic and won the [Vaclav Jezek] tournament,” said the midfielder.
As Espinoza mentioned, the midfielder took part in last month’s trip to Florida for the U18 and U19 squads. Under the guidance of head coach Omid Namazi, the Xolos player was given the start in the 2-2 draw between the U18 roster and South Florida Surf.
When it comes to his time off of the pitch, Espinoza is probably quite happy watching the current blistering form of The Blues.
“I’m a Chelsea fan, that’s my favorite team,” stated Espinoza. “I like to watch a lot of the English Premier League, Bundesliga, more of the stuff in Europe.”
As for his favorite taco spots to hit up in the local area, you might catch him chowing down on some post-game snacks near the Estadio Caliente.
“Ohhh, here in San Diego, it would probably be Tacos El Gordo near San Ysidro,” said Espinoza. “In TJ, it’s Taconazo, right there by the stadium.”
We will be sure to keep an eye on the rising USYNT and Xolos star from San Ysidro. With the 2017 Clausura tournament just around the corner, Espinoza will likely continue to amass more attention.