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We Need Another Century To Match Spain's Depth — Just Look At José Luis Morales

There’s no shame in being excited by the collection of USMNT talent in LaLiga. The trio of Sergiño Dest, Konrad de la Fuente and Yunus Musah already represents a golden age of Americans in Spain’s top flight, although there’s something incredibly U.S. Soccer about the fact that they currently boast almost as many international caps as they do LaLiga appearances.

Of course that opportunity to “prematurely” play at the international level — and to be promised a key role at such a young age — is a massive reason why Dest committed to the U.S. over the Netherlands, Konrad donned the Stars and Stripes over la Roja and Musah is leaning that way over England and Italy.

If you’re playing your ball in Europe, there’s a spot for you in the USMNT squad. If Spain is your national team and you’re a consistent performer in LaLiga, you still might never play an international match in your entire career. 

There might come a day when the top two or three USMNT players are at a similar level to the top two or three Spanish players, but it’ll be a century before roster spots four through 100 are even remotely close. Spain’s C-team would beat the USMNT C-team 15-0.

Case in point: Levante captain José Luis Morales.

Now 33, Morales is the sort of player that would’ve earned over 100 caps with the U.S. but he’s never appeared for Spain. This is a winger that scored seven LaLiga goals in 2016, 10 in 2018 and 12 in 2019. He already has six goals in 15 games this season after hitting a ridiculous brace against Real Betis on Tuesday in Levante’s 4-3 win.

In a rare feat of violence, Morales hammered a right-footed (his weaker foot) half-volley in the 22nd minute and then — just two minutes later — laced a left-footed volley from an acute angle. 

More Concacaf perspective: Andrés Guardado started and played 65 minutes while Diego Lainez entered in the 59th. It wasn’t a great evening for Guardado; I don’t why Lainez isn’t given a start. 

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