DENVER, Colorado -- Cesar Montes was ready. The Mexico defender was summoned to warm up and enter as a half-time substitute against Jamaica in the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup on Thursday night.
He could only think of one thing: do things right.
“There was huge mix of emotions,” said Montes, referring to his international debut. “You dream about representing your country since you are a kid. With a lot of work and humility, I was given the chance. It was an unforgettable night that will always be marked in my career.”
The 20-year-old Monterrey standout was part of Mexico Olympic team last year (3 games/0 goals) and ultimately earned a place on the Gold Cup roster.
His work against the Jamaican forwards was highlighted by Mexico assistant coach Luis Pompilio Paez, who is in charge of the sidelines while head coach Juan Carlos Osorio serves a suspension.
“Defensively, we were great and that includes Cesar (Montes),” praised Paez, after the scoreless draw. “He now has 45 minutes with the national team. He came on and played the way he plays in Monterrey. He cleaned his area and did what he needed to do. He was able to clear balls out of dangerous areas and parts of the field when we need it. It wasn’t easy, but he did it well.”
Montes said Paez personally congratulated him in the team locker room, as did his teammates.
“I am very grateful to them (coaching staff) for the opportunity and took advantage of it,” Montes finished. “It was a great night for me.”