Newest Club America defender Israel Reyes revealed head coach Fernando Ortiz expects him to show ‘leadership inside the field’ following his preseason debut in the friendly against Cancun FC.
The club traveled to Cancun for a preseason tour to face the local Expansion League side, before competing in the friendly tournament Copa Por Mexico on December 12. Reyes made his first appearances for Ortiz, receiving praise and instructions.
“The ease to play with the ball, and hold that leadership inside the field as a traditional center-back, defensive midfielder or even playing freely in a line of five. Then, to simply listen to him in order to arrive in the best shape at the start of the tournament,” explained the player of his instructions.
Reyes recently joined Club America on a four-year contract from Puebla, having established himself as one the most promising defenders in the Mexican league. He stands as the team’s first reinforcement ahead of the 2023 Liga MX Clausura.
The defender was eager to get started with the team, calling the transfer ‘motivational.’
“It is a great motivation to be here; to grow as a player in many aspects, as a person you mature a lot being here. I’ve been soaking it up with my teammates since the first day.
“I’ve been getting closer to finding out how they think, it’s really their day-to-day life and obviously from the preseason soaking up all the ideas that the coach has, how we’re going to play, from the start. The first day I was already adapting and on the first day I was ready to go out with everything.”
Reyes kicked off his professional career with Atlas in 2019, before quickly securing a loan deal to Puebla. After 19 games with the Franja, the team exercised his purchase option to make Reyes a staple of the backline.
But it wasn’t until the 2022 Apertura that he became a standout in the Mexican league. The 22-year-old managed three goals in 17 games of the 2022 Apertura, inspiring Puebla to eighth place in the regular season and the Liguilla quarter-finals.
Overall, he recorded six goals in 76 appearances with Puebla before joining Club America.
The 2023 Clausura kicks off on January 6.