Bruce Arena raves about Jose Villarreal's Cruz Azul opportunity as forward begins training with first team

CARSON, Calif. – Weeks after completing a loan to Cruz Azul, Jose Villarreal is steadily beginning to integrate himself with the squad.  

According to the website Mediotiempo, Villarreal, Rafael Baca and Michael Farfan have begun training with the Cruz Azul first team over the past week.  Although the training session represent Villarreal’s first steps forward to earning minutes, the 19-year-old forward faces an uphill battle after Cruz Azul sporting director Agustín Manzo labeled the forward a work-in-progress during his unveiling in December.

However, even as Villarreal looks to lock down a steady place with the Mexican side, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena admits that the forward has the skills to succeed in Mexico.

“It’s a great opportunity for him,” Villarreal told reporters earlier this week. “He’s a player that has great promise. He’s being placed in an environment that I think that he’s going to be comfortable in and hopefully, he can show a lot of progress this year."