Former UC Irvine and Lancaster High School standout Miguel Ibarra made his debut with the U.S. men’s national soccer team Tuesday night in a 1-1 tie with Honduras in an exhibition at Boca Raton, Florida.
Ibarra, a 24-year-old forward who plays for Minnesota United FC of the second-division North American Soccer League, entered the game in the 90th and final minute, replacing Mix Diskerud.
“I can’t even explain the feeling of how I felt when this happened,” Ibarra wrote on his Twitter account. “Thank you God for everything you’ve done for me. And thanks to everyone that have always supported me.
“Now time to keep working hard and time to focus to win the championship with Minnesota this year. Dreams do come true.”
Ibarra was the first player from the modern NASL to be called into the U.S. men’s national team. He was voted as the NASL’s Player of the Month for September.
Ibarra was Lancaster High School’s offensive MVP in the 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 seasons. He was a second-team All-American selection at Taft College in 2009 and the Big West Conference’s co-Offensive Player of the Year as a UC Irvine senior in 2011.
Ibarra was called in for Friday’s exhibition against Ecuador in East Hartford, Connecticut, but did not play in the 1-1 tie.
The U.S. took a 1-0 lead against Honduras on Jozy Altidore’s goal in the 10th minute, off an assist by Michael Bradley. Honduras tied the score in the 86th minute when Maynor Figueroa headed in a free kick by substitute Mario Martinez.
Former UCLA standout Nick Rimando made two saves. He is 10-0-2 in his national team career.
Former Irvine Strikers forward Bobby Wood, who now plays for 1860 Munich in Germany, entered the game in the 64th minute, replacing Clint Dempsey.
—City News Service