Arabe Unido celebrates after defeating the Houston Dynamo in a CCL match on October 24, 2013, in La Chorrera, Panama. (Photo: Omar Sanchez)
COLON, Panama – With a workmanlike mentality, passage to the next phase of the CONCACAF Champions League (CCL) is possible in the mind of Arabe Unido’s Abdiel Arroyo.
On Monday, the Expreso Azul will face host Alajuelense in the first leg of their CCL quarterfinal series. Clearly. the tournament has made a significant impression on the forward.
“For me, the Champions League represents a showcase to try to do things well and to go all-out in this competition,” Arroyo told CONCACAF.com.
The 20-year-old admittedly has grand CCL aspirations. He wants to lift the trophy after the final.
“It’s the dream that each player has to try to become champion of the region and in the quarterfinal match we are going to go all-out to get the win,” Arroyo expressed.
Following completion of both the CCL’s group stage and the Panamanian Clausura season last year, Arabe saw some key performers leave the club. One of those was forward Jose Gonzalez, who scored the only goal in a 1-0 win over the Houston Dynamo that clinched the team’s knockout-phase place.
As a result, head coach Jair Palacios was put into the position of having to rely on the club’s youth players in the current Clausura. That level of resourcefulness, though, has led to Arabe being in a three-way tie for first place with Alianza and Plaza Amador after nine rounds.
Arroyo, who is part of the youth movement, scored two goals in four CCL group stage matches. Despite his age, he possesses a keen understanding of what is required to grasp success.
“First, you have to keep working hard, because we know that it is a difficult competition,” declared Arroyo. ”The coach works hard each day to try to get the team to the final and win it.”
The rising star finished with a thought that has defined many great champions, when he added another element to the mix: “Humility…to continue working hard to the utmost and the fortitude we have to achieve the objective of a win.”
It is certain that Arroyo is prepared to fulfill his and Arabe Unido’s CCL goals.