Guatemala’s Vasquez has an American dream

(ABOVE) Guatemala international Elias Enoc Vasquez (pictured) is a rising star in CONCACAF.

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala – Guatemala international Elias Enoc Vasquez is ready to realize the American dream.

The defender traveled Tuesday to the United States, where he hopes to continue his career by signing with Major League Soccer’s Real Salt Lake, a 2015/16 CONCACAF Champions League qualifier.

A product of Comunicaciones, Vasquez will face his second challenge abroad after playing with Dorados de Sinaloa in Mexico’s Liga de Ascenso.

"It's an opportunity that I take seriously with the required responsibility and professionalism," Vasquez said in an exclusive interview with CONCACAF.com.  "Since I was young, playing abroad has been my goal.

"I will not give up the desire to represent well the name of my family and Guatemala.  I have had contact with the head coach (Jeff Cassar).  He has welcomed me, which helps me to be more focused on football only.”

Captain of the Guatemala side that competed in the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup, the 22-year-old is looking at the move as a way to improve personally, while also helping the Chapines at this summer’s CONCACAF Gold Cup.

"MLS has a different feel that I hope to leverage and use for the service of the national team in the Gold Cup,” expressed Vasquez, who made two appearances in the 2011 edition of the competition.  “Playing abroad always provides a boost, so I hope to continue growing.”

Although his sojourn in Mexican football was for less than a year, he is optimistic for the future, remarking, "It was a very special experience, although some think it was a failure, for me it was an opportunity to strengthen and open doors."

Vasquez will become the ninth Guatemalan to play in the MLS, following Jorge Rodas (San Jose Clash), Martin Machon (LA Galaxy, Miami Fusion), Carlos Ruiz (LA Galaxy, FC Dallas, Toronto FC, D.C. United, Philadelphia Union), Guillermo Ramirez (LA Galaxy), Mario Rodriguez (Columbus Crew), Freddy Garcia (Columbus Crew), Gustavo Cabrera (Real Salt Lake) and Marco Pappa (Chicago Fire, Seattle Sounders).