FRISCO, Texas — Saturday evening, Marvin Chávez could have been in California, preparing for the Gold Cup with the Honduran national team.
Instead, the 27-year-old FC Dallas midfielder-turned-forward was at Pizza Hut Park, helping his club team deal with a rash of injuries to the forward corps.
The decision paid off as Chávez scored the game-winning goal in the 69th minute against the New England Revolution en route to a 1-0 home victory.
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“That was a big statement from Marvin, wasn’t it?” FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman said in his postgame press conference. “How many players would pass up an opportunity for a call-up? I think that shows a little bit of how committed he is to this organization. This was his first goal of the year and it couldn’t have come any better.”
With Dallas recording shots on goal repeatedly throughout the game and Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis saving everything that came his way, it was “el Hijo del Viento” — the Son of the Wind — who came through.
“The goalkeeper made a lot of saves tonight and luckily mine went in and the team won,” Chávez said. “The mentality was to score, and luckily I did.”
Chávez knows that he could have been with Honduras, but felt obligated to provide help to the FC Dallas attack during a busy stretch in league play.
“It was a really, really hard decision for me to make,” said Chávez. “Obviously, I love my country and want to represent my country, but I also knew that my team was struggling with a lot of injuries.”
Against the Revolution, FCD’s attack appeared more alive than since before league MVP David Ferreira went out with a broken ankle. Time and again, they found themselves in the Revolution’s defensive third, but they simply couldn’t collect a goal.
Until Chávez’s moment of glory. It was a thing of beauty.
After receiving a pass from Fabián Castillo, Chávez ran at Revolution defender A.J. Soares, did a scissor move over the ball, and sped past a helpless Soares towards Reis and the Revolution goal.
“I remember taking on the defender to the line and inside the box,” Chávez recalled. “I saw Milton [Rodríguez] waiting for the ball but I was confident in myself to shoot and luckily I scored.”
Chávez fired a shot between Reis and the near post, sending the crowd at Pizza Hut Park into a frenzy.
“Watching Marvin many times in games, he has that speed to get around the corner and run at the goalkeeper,” Hyndman said. “I thought tonight he showed some composure late in the game to keep it low and score the game-winning goal.”