Improved Chavez works his way back into Honduras fold
SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San Jose Earthquakes are happy to let Marvin Chávez go, just as soon as he finishes coming back.
Chávez, the quicksilver midfielder, was named Thursday to the Honduran national team roster in advance of a friendly next week in Miami against famed Argentinean club Boca Juniors.
On Friday, Chávez showed at Quakes training that he’s fully recovered from the slight hamstring strain that forced him to miss San Jose’s most recent MLS match, a dramatic 1-1 draw on July 28 against Chicago.
That means Chávez, a mainstay for Earthquakes head coach Frank Yallop when healthy, should be available for selection on Saturday as San Jose host Seattle (10:30 pm ET, watch LIVE online).
WATCH: Chavez hammers home first-time
“It’s great for Marvin and Víctor,” Yallop said, referring to Quakes defender Víctor Bernárdez, who is also on the Honduran squad for its Florida trip. “Victor’s obviously been involved a lot more than Marvin lately, and it was great to see Marvin getting a chance, because I think he’s been terrific for us this year when he’s played. He deserves to get that call up.”
Chávez leads the Earthquakes with nine assists in just 1,261 minutes this season, showing playmaking ability that wasn’t as evident – or at least as often rewarded – during his three previous MLS seasons. As a member of FC Dallas from 2009 through 2011, the 28-year-old had only six assists in a combined 3,572 minutes.
The Boca Juniors match will mark Chávez’s first 2012 appearance with los Catrachos; despite scoring six goals with FC Dallas last year and starting quickly with the Quakes, he didn’t earn a spot in the Hondurans’ first set of World Cup qualifiers back in June.
“I’m very happy,” Chávez told MLSsoccer.com through a translator. “I was hoping to get called in for this and I did, so it worked out. I think it is a reward [for success in 2012]. I was trying to make a good impression on my teammates and get a call back.”
Chávez’s teammates were not surprised by the choice of Honduran coach Luis Fernando Suárez.
“I think most of us thought that he could have been an All-Star [on game day],” San Jose midfielder Shea Salinas said. “He leads us in assists, he’s been playing awesome defensively and his work ethic’s been great. It’s great for him and Victor.”
Chávez and Bernárdez are expected to rejoin San Jose in time for the Quakes’ Aug. 18 match in Montreal – and they might not be the only ones making some midweek travel plans. With the US facing Mexico in Azteca Stadium on Aug. 15, it’s possible that MLS scoring leader Chris Wondolowski and outside backs Justin Morrow and Steven Beitashour could be tapped for Jurgen Klinsmann’s side.
Geoff Lepper covers the Earthquakes for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at email@example.com.