Like many of his teammates on the U.S. Men’s National Team, Alfredo Morales had eligibility to represent more than one country.
Born in Berlin to a German mother (Ruth) and Peruvian father (Galo), who gained American citizenship through his service in the U.S. Army, Morales chose to play for the United States in 2013.
Two years later, things have come full circle with his international career.
In June, Morales appeared as a substitute in the MNT’s 2-1 win against Germany in Cologne. Just over a month later, he was officially cap-tied to the United States after playing in the team’s 1-1 draw with Panama during the Gold Cup group stage.
On Friday, Morales will have the opportunity to face the nation of his father’s birth as the MNT faces Peru for the first time in 15 years.
“Obviously it’s a very special game for me,” Morales told ussoccer.com. “My dad is from Peru and my whole family is Peruvian. Most of them live in the U.S., but it’s very special to me. I’m very excited and I want to beat them on Friday. It’s a big thing.”
Many of Morales’ uncles, aunts and cousins that live Stateside are based in Virginia. While he’s acquainted with them, it’s been 12 or 13 years since he’s seen his extended family, which makes Friday’s match at RFK Stadium even more special for the 25-year-old midfielder. Although he’s not quite sure which side they’ll be cheering for.
“I think I need about 15-20 tickets for the game,” he joked. “I hope they’re supporting me, but I think they just want to see a good game. They live in the U.S. and they’re very happy to be here. Of course they’re Peruvians, but I think they just want to enjoy the game and I hope they want to see me win.”
Along with seeing his extended family, Morales will also have the support of his father, who is flying in from Berlin on Thursday. Galo Morales kept Alfredo and his sister Rosa culturally connected to the nation of his birth, often cooking traditional Peruvian dishes of fish, beans and rice at the family’s home in Berlin.
“For him it’s also a very special game,” said Morales. “It’s a very big game for me and my family, but I think he’s just proud he can be in the stadium and watch a USA vs. Peru game with his son playing. It’s very special, and I hope I can do a good job and make everyone happy.”
While he takes pride in keeping his son connected to Peru, as a former U.S. serviceman, his father understood Alfredo’s ultimate desire to represent the United States.
“He’s very proud,” Morales said of his father. “He was very happy for me. From the beginning he said it was the right decision, and I think it’s the right decision for me. The USA is a great country and I’m very proud to play here. For me it’s the right thing.”