Donovan Palomares is sitting with me in the press box of Banc of California Stadium. The LAFC Academy U-14 goalkeeper is here to watch LAFC take on Minnesota United in a midweek contest (LAFC would win the match 2-0). Just a week before our meeting, Palomares was playing in a big match of his own.
Called in by the Mexican Youth National Team for the second time in 2018, Palomares started in goal against the youth side of Liga MX club Toluca in a friendly.
Back stateside, Palomares sat down to talk about his experience training with the national team in Mexico City:
What Was It Like To Get Your Second Call Up To The Mexican Youth National Team?
It was a great feeling. My mom got the email, and when she told me after I got home from school it was just great. I knew my hard work was paying off. All I can say really is the feeling was just great.
What About Traveling To Mexico City For Camp, Were You Nervous?
Not nervous. Happy to be getting invited to a second camp. It’s a big step for me. But no, not nervous at all. Just very happy.
How Was Camp With The National Team?
It was most of the same guys called again. You feel better. It feels more like family because you already know the other players. You feel safe and you have a good positive feeling entering the camp.
We trained the whole week. Friday we had a friendly against Pumas, and then Toluca. I was in the starting 11 for the Toluca game. We won 3-0. Against Pumas, we lost 1-0. So that was unfortunate.
When You Were Told You'd Be Starting The Toluca Match, What Were Your Thoughts?
It’s a very positive feeling. You’re in the starting 11 versus a very strong team. There’s a big target on your chest. You have to go in there confident and ready to play.
What Was The Best Part Of Camp?
The best part was the camp overall. Everything was very positive. I feel like family with the other kids. I felt very welcomed.
How Has The LAFC Academy Helped?
The LAFC Academy has helped me a lot. The training, the coaches, the advice they give me. When they push me harder and harder because they know I can do better, that helps me so much.
What About Your LAFC Academy Teammates, Did They Talk With You About The National Team Camp?
They ask a lot of questions, like what it was like to be there? And I just tell them that any one of us can be there. LAFC can help us be there. They are strong hard workers, and with all their confidence and hard work, it’ll pay off one day.
Favorite Goalkeeper In The World?
One of my big idols is Jan Oblak. He’s an amazing keeper. He’s a big keeper, he’s confident. Always has his head up, chest big. He’s ready to play. Always determined.
Favorite Player On LAFC First Team?
Tyler Miller, for sure.
What Kind Of Goals Do You Have For Yourself Moving Forward?
I want to play for the first team. That’s a big goal for me. I want to succeed in my soccer career, be in the starting 11 at Banc of California Stadium, and hopefully play with Carlos Vela.