Velarde hoping for more opportunities with Mexico

Efrain Velarde (pictured) played the entire 90 minutes in Mexico's friendly at the USA on April 15, 2015. (Photo: Mexsport)

SAN ANTONIO, Texas – After being part of the Mexico squad that fell 2-0 to the United States in a friendly on Wednesday, Efrain Velarde hopes more chances to play with the Tricolor will come his way.

As the Copa America and the CONCACAF Gold Cup quickly approach, the Monterrey defender wants to swell his eight-cap total.

“I’m happy with the effort, I felt good,” Velarde told CONCACAF.com following the game.  “Really, there are many things to improve.  I think that we had a good first half and I am going to continue working in the best way to continue trying to have more opportunities with the national team.” 

When asked if he thought he might have secured a roster spot for either of this summer’s competitions, Velarde preferred to remain focused on the job at hand.

“This match does not decide if you are in or out,” remarked the 28-year-old, who has two career Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League goals, both with Pumas in the 2011/12 edition.  “The most important thing is to continue having good appearances with your team and keep on working in the best way.”

Velarde also wants to be involved in another big match on Saturday, when Monterrey visits local-rival Tigres in the “Clásico Regiomontano,” a match that is special to the city of Monterrey and is always a significant date on the Liga MX calendar.

“I have to now think about Saturday’s match,” Velarde finished.  “Those are matches that players never want to miss.  It is one of the most anticipated matches of the season.  I am happy to have the chance to play in it and we are going to give it our best to get the three points.”

Since joining the Rayados from UNAM last June, Velarde has made 19 league appearances.