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Former Chivas USA forward Julio Morales named to USMNT January camp squad

Rather surprising news out of Jurgen Klinsmann's team.

Morales in action for Chivas USA in 2013.
Morales in action for Chivas USA in 2013.
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Here's news that I never would have predicted: former Chivas USA forward Julio Morales has been called up by U.S. Men's National Team coach Jurgen Klinsmann for the annual training camp that will take place this month.

Morales, who played for CUSA in 2013, on loan from Chivas de Guadalajara, scored two goals in 17 appearances with the Amerigoats that season. He also missed some time as he played for Mexico's U-20 team, including at the 2013 U-20 World Cup.

Since leaving Chivas USA, Morales was loaned out to Chivas de Guadalajara's reserve side, Ascenso MX team Coras de Tepic. With them, he has made three appearances, all off the bench, for 46 minutes of play and no goals. I have no idea if he was injured - that's entirely possible, but that doesn't exactly indicate national team potential, does it?

From the outside, this move screams Klinsmann trying to poach a potential dual-national to the American side. Morales was born and raised in California, so he's American. And while charitably it could be said that he's trying to look at as many players in the talent pool as possible and see what is out there, trying to uncover hidden gems, the cynical view is that he wants to block Morales from becoming a Mexican national team player by cap-tying him, before moving on.

Morales is still young, just 21, but if I was a player who had, say, scored more than two goals in my professional career, I'd probably be pretty upset by some of the call-ups on this latest USMNT roster, including Morales'.

And who knows what this means for his status with Chivas, seeing as they have a strict "No non-Mexican internationals" policy. That could be a real quagmire for his club career, honestly.

Still, Chivas USA connection on the U.S. National Team! Been awhile since we said that. Best of luck to Julio on the call-up, of course, and we'll see how he does in the training camp.

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