Guatemala’s Cincotta connects through social media

Guatemala's Stefano Cincotta (pictured) will be looking to make a mark on the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup. (Photo: Mexsport)

BRIDGEVIEW, Illinois -- He doesn’t always like to speak to the press and tries to keep a modest demeanor, but Stefano Cincotta rarely has an issue communicating on social media.

It is a platform on which the Guatemala defender is very active, chronicling his career as a professional footballer online, while interacting with those who want to know more about him.

“That’s a good place to start and meet me,” Cincotta said after Guatemala’s Tuesday morning training session at Toyota Park.

He posts travel photos and highlight videos of matches with his club, German third division-side Chemnitzer. The occasional “selfie” can also be found on his Facebook and Instagram accounts. One selfie has him posing at a location somewhere on the streets of Frankfurt. In another, he’s in front of a flea market in Guatemala.

And Cincotta is gaining more followers every day. He can thank his recent success with Guatemala for that development.

The 24-year-old has become somewhat of a sensation in his birth country after helping it reach the third round of World Cup qualifying for Russia 2018 last month. Cincotta scored the only goal in a two-legged series against Bermuda, netting in the 26th minute of the second leg on the road last month. That tally prompted numerous expressions of thanks on social media from grateful fans.

“Thank you for your goal, you helped all of Guatemala to keep dreaming,” said one.

Most of the messages are in German. Others are in Spanish. Some in Italian. A few are in English.

Cincotta, who could see action when the Central American runner-up faces Trinidad & Tobago on Thursday at Soldier Field, speaks those four languages, but communicates best in German. After all, he grew up in Germany, moving there with his parents when he was an infant. Born to a Guatemalan mother and Italian father, Cincotta grew up playing football in Germany, earning a spot in the youth national team system.

For as much playing time he gets in Germany, Cincotta decided to represent Guatemala internationally at the senior team level when the opportunity presented itself.

“I am very happy with the experience I am living now with the national team,” said Cincotta, who has six caps and is participating in his first Gold Cup. “I always wanted to play for my country. I was born in Guatemala. I have always wanted to play for Guatemalan national team. It is something special.”

Many observers in Guatemala consider Cincotta to be a special talent. He is a versatile, agile and quick defender with an ability to push up field and create an attack off the flanks. His teammates see a young man with a big future.

“He (Cincotta) is a great person,” said midfielder Jonathan Marquez. “He is always looking how to help the team. He takes initiative and that reflects on the field. He’s coming off playing two good games. He was able to get a score in one of them to help us very much. He feels very motivated with a lot of energy and with a will to do things right. No doubt he is an important player on our team.”

Cincotta wants to be that type of player with his national selection.

“I want to accomplish great things with the national team,” Cincotta commented. “At least reach the [Gold Cup] semifinals. We want to win all the games and fight and we want to give the people of our country to be happy about.”

And he wants to continue communicating with his fans.

“I want to tell people that I am Guatemalan and that they can communicate with me on social media, Facebook and Instagram, if they want to know more about me,” Cincotta finished. “I’m here.”