Minor leaguer makes most of opportunity

Came up through Xolos' farm system

TIJUANA –"It was a childhood dream," said Bruno Piceno, after his debut in Mexico's premier soccer league.

At age 19, the Xolos forward played well in Saturday's game against Tigres of UANL, thus becoming only the second player from the team's minor league system to move to the First Division. The other one was Joe Corona, the Sweetwater High alum, who plays for the main club although he's currently in Nashville as a member of the U.S. U-23 team.

Piceno played in the First Division for the first time during 45 minutes in Monterrey's Estadio Universitario in a match the Xolos would go on to lose 1-0. He was at the center of the attack, creating openings, adhering to coach Antonio Mohamed's game plan.

"It was a great experience, the dream all of us as kids live for," said Piceno, a Tijuana native. "I was proud to have started my career against Tigres, the current champion and a great team, and I'm also proud of debuting in my native land."

He said the coach asked him later how he had felt, and what he thought he did well and what he needed to learn.

"My teammates told me I did fine," he said. "I was able to control my emotions."

Piceno already had lived one professional debut, this one with the Liga de Ascenso in the Clausura 2011 season.

Ever since then, his steady progress landed him on the main Xolos team the following season.

The debut under his belt, Bruno is thankful for the opportunity.

"I'm not anyone to judge myself," he said. "That's the coach's job, my teammates' job. I only try to do my job; to make good plays.

"I want to stay in the First Division and I know that it's difficult. But I've already taken the first step. Now I have to work even harder to be ready when another opportunity comes up."



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