Efraín Álvarez is struggling to make a decision: both Mexico and United States have called him up for the Under 23 Pre-Olympic Tournament, which will award the two Concacaf spots for the upcoming Olympic Games to be held in Tokyo next July and August. Born in Los Angeles to Mexican parents, he’s eligible for both nations.
The Pre-Olympic Tournament will take place March 18-30 in Guadalajara. USA, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, and Mexico will clash in Group A, while Honduras, Canada, El Salvador and Haiti will be face to face in Group B. The top two in each zone will move onto semifinals, where the winners will earn the Olympic Games ticket.
United States’ coach Jason Kreis named players like George Bello, Konrad De la Fuente, Julian Araujo, Bryan Reynolds and Eryk Williamson for the upcoming tournament. Big European clubs are not likely to allow their players to play in this kind of competitions, but should USA enter Tokyo, Álvarez could join names like Gio Reyna, Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie or Sergiño Dest.
Now, if he chooses to stick to Mexico, where he already played at Under-17 level, he will join names like Diego Lainez and Gerardo Arteaga. Players like José Juan Macías, Uriel Antuna or Edson Álvarez are not considered by this tournament but will definitely be called up if Mexico makes it to Tokyo. Not to mention players who are over 23 years old that could mean great assets to the squad like Javier Hernández, Raúl Jiménez, or Carlos Vela.