FutbolMLS.com Digest: Real Salt Lake's Javier Morales reveals what fueled his first MLS hat trick
FutbolMLS.com is the go-to source for Spanish-language coverage of MLS and the upcoming World Cup, and every Friday we will be bringing you an English-language digest of the best content they have to offer. Oh, and don't miss everything you need to know about the weekend in the Starting XI.
Also, be sure to check out former MLS and Colombia legend Carlos Valderrama in the video above, where he discusses what it means to be an ambassador for his country and for Sueño MLS.
1. MO’ JAVI: It’s hard not to look at Javier Morales as MLS’ ageless wonder. After all, he has maintained a consistently high level since joining the league in 2007, and even at age 34 continues to thrill crowds across the league just as he did with his hat trick against the Houston Dynamo last weekend, which remarkably was the first of his MLS career.
In light of his continued success, FutbolMLS.com’s Raquel Ortiz took the opportunity to chat with the Argentine playmaker one-on-one about his milestone, and it sounds like we shouldn’t be writing the RSL man off anytime soon.
“The truth is that it was very important, above all in the confidence it gives me,” Morales explained. “I came in feeling good about my soccer but one always wants to score and make goals to see yourself in the result.”
“The truth is that I came in [to that game] with a little bit of anger about that, because I hadn’t been able to score yet [this season]. It gave me pleasure to have achieved the first hat trick of my career and clearly it’s important, because it’s something that isn’t done every day.”
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Morales also discussed, among other things, his team’s status as the lone unbeaten team remaining in MLS and the challenge it faces in maintaining that record with stars Álvaro Saborío, Kyle Beckerman and Nick Rimando all heading to the World Cup, so be sure to check it out.
2. THE LISTS ARE IN: The preliminary roster deadline for the 2014 World Cup has passed, meaning it’s time to dissect, discuss and debate. Tiro Libre Radio was right on top of it, hitting on all the big debates of the week on this side of the world from Eddie Johnson’s USMNT snub to Mexico’s surprise call-ups to the surprise comeback of Colombian star Falcao.
Listen in, as the crew not only discusses the lineup for the upcoming World Cup, but gets reports from Honduras camp in Miami and dissects another exciting round of MLS action.
3. BEING BENNY: Sporting Kansas City midfielder Benny Feilhaber may have been one of the big snubs on Jurgen Klinsmann’s World Cup roster, but he made it clear to FutbolMLS.com that he will be fully supporting his colleagues as they embark on a difficult challenge in Brazil. The US will face Germany, Portugal and Ghana in Group G.
“It’s a very difficult group but I feel the United States has the opportunity to achieve some great results and can advance from the group stage,” he expressed.
The USA’s chances in Brazil was far from the only topic Feilhaber discussed in the wide-ranging interview; he also opened up about his relationship with SKC coach Peter Vermes, his childhood in Brazil, his experience coming back to MLS in 2011 after spending his entire career in Europe, and recalls one very special goal he scored in the 2007 Gold Cup. Click through to read more!
4. CATRACHO CONCERN: Honduras’ shot shot at a dark horse World Cup run may have already encountered a roadblock with news emerging from Los Catrachos camp on Thursday that 23-year-old midfielder Luis Garrido had not trained during their first two sessions in Florida with a muscle injury in his leg.
FutbolMLS.com was on the scene, however, as team medic Raul Pérez played down the injury.
“There’s no tears, it’s a slight inflammation that lets us know it’s nothing severe,” he explained, adding Garrido would likely join the group early next week.
Elsewhere in Honduras camp, forward Rony Martínez was keen to highlight their World Cup tune-ups against Turkey, Israel and England.
“You have to take advantage of the upcoming friendlies,” he told reporters at a press conference. “These teams will help us a lot in taking on the teams we will face in the World Cup.”
The 30-year-old Argentine forward has just started two of the seven games he's appeared in (plus two games in the CONCACAF Champions League) and has one goal off the bench to show for it. However, SKC manangerPeter Vermes has every confidence in his man.
"At the beginning of the season and with a tiring schedule, he was among the starters," Vermes said recently. "He is a player that always competes. He is working hard and continues to be an important player for the team."
Click through to read more on the trials and tribulations of Claudio Bieler.