Jorge Villafana is finally going to get his chance to prove himself with the United States. The Santos Laguna left back has been called in by Bruce Arena to join the team for the team’s friendly against Serbia, according to his Instagram
Villafana was a late bloomer who wasn’t especially highly recruited by colleges or sought after by MLS teams. In fact, he only broke through on the reality show “Sueno MLS,” where he won the competition to win a spot on Chivas USA’s U-19 team.
It didn’t take long for Villafana to make Chivas’s first team and become a regular for the MLS team before being traded to the Portland Timbers, where he blossomed into one of the league’s best left backs and helped them win MLS. That earned him a move to Santos Laguna, where he became the team’s starter and played well in Liga MX.
Despite having shown himself to be a good player in MLS and Liga MX, and the U.S. struggling to get decent left back play from anyone not named Fabian Johnson, Villafana never got a look under Jurgen Klinsmann. The highest international level he ever played at was with the U-23s.
Now, Villafana is getting a chance. Arena has him in to play in the team’s match against Serbia, and he could stick around for their match against New Zealand. Oddly, Villafana’s long-awaited call-up comes as he’s lost his starting job at Santos Laguna, but considering the level he’s played at before and that the U.S. has serious left back problems, bringing him in definitely looks like the right move.