FutbolMLS.com Digest: Jorge Claros details journey from brush with death to World Cup and MLS
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A little more than three years ago, he was shot in an attempted carjacking in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, and miraculously recovered in time to start league play a few weeks later. Nonetheless, it is an incident that has shaped his life since, while he subsequently moved to Europe and helped Honduras to the World Cup before making his way to Kansas City.
On Wednesday, he joined the Tiro Libre podcast to discuss his remarkable recovery and the state of the Honduran national team after a disappointing World Cup. Also on the show, the crew debates the future of the Mexican national team, and specifically one of El Tri’s most enigmatic players, forward Carlos Vela. Looking further south, the future of Argentine soccer was also a hot topic of discussion following the passing of longtime Argentine federation president Julio Grondona.
2. CLAROS, IN DEPTH: In addition to his apperance on Tiro Libre, Claros also discussed a number of topics related to his life and career as part of FutbolMLS.com's "Hablandon Con..." series. His answer on what attracts Honduran players to MLS may be of particular interest to followers of the league.
"The principle attraction of MLS is the competitiveness," Claros said "It's a league that has grown a lot and has elite, world-class players. I believe it's natural for a player to look at MLS as an option.
"Apart from the competitiveness of the league, there is the security and tranquility of working without any problem, knowing that the only worry for oneself is to perform on the field and nothing more."
3. MEMO AT MÁLAGA: The other shoe finally fell on Guillermo Ochoa's long-awaited summer move, and the Mexican World Cup star has joined up with Spanish outfit Málaga, Champions League quarterfinalists in 2012-13.
One of the first things made clear, though, was that the move did not only come about because of Ochoa's stellar World Cup.
"Memo is not here only for the work he did during the World Cup," said Málaga sporting director Mario Husillos in Ochoa's introductory press conference. "In the last three seasons he has had with Ajaccio [in France], he has only missed two games."
In a similar vein, Ochoa said of his move: "When I made the first step to Europe, I was always thinking about growing and having a long career. In France I worked away from the spotlight and the media, of course Ajaccio does not have fans of the quantity the Malaga can have, or that I had in Mexico [with Club América]."
4. CHASING 'DINHO: The MLS silly season has reached its peak, with the close of the international transfer window less than a week away. One of the biggest names on the market is Brazilian star Ronaldinho, who recently left 2013 South American champions Atlético Mineiro.
Thursday's "Se Dice en Europa" details much of the talk surrounding the 34-year-old's potential move to MLS, as well a possible move back to Europe, specifically to Turkish giants Fenerbahçe.
Stateside, negotiations with Orlando City appear to have petered out, but the latest reports have his representatives in discussions with the New York Red Bulls – stay tuned over the next few days.
5. THE TICO-CATRACHO: Back in Honduran soccer, a Costa Rican has been tasked with picking up the national team after an unhappy showing at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, where the Catrachos lost all three games.
Former Ticos international Hernán Medford held his first press conference this past week, and explained that as far as he was concerned, every eligible player has a clean slate when it comes to selection. This despite the fact federation president Rafael Callejas having earlier said he would prefer not to see some of the players who took part in the World Cup on the team for the 2014 Copa Centroamericana this September.
“The national team is open to anyone,” Medford told the assembled media. “Sometimes one can consider a player, but perhaps maybe not with conviction. Likewise there are many [players] who have retired and can return, but also that could return with time for a [World Cup] qualifier.”
Honduras open their Copa Centroamericana on Sept. 3 against Belize at RFK Stadium, and will also face El Salvador and Guatemala in their group as they attempt to qualify for the 2015 Gold Cup and 2016 Copa América Centenario.