CARSON, Calif. — When CD Motagua stepped on the field against the LA Galaxy on Tuesday night, they brought a great deal of MLS pedigree with them.
Led by longtime MLS veteran Amado Guevara (above, left), the Ciclón Azul (Blue Cyclone) had three former MLSers in the starting XI. In their match against the Galaxy, Motagua attempted to play an open and physical game shunning a purely defensive approach, but eventually fell 2-0 in their CONCACAF Champions League opener.
"We knew that beating the Galaxy were a good team, if we gave them space, they were going to benefit and that’s what happened,” Guevara said. "Now we go to visit Morelia and we'll see if we can get the three points there, although we know it's complicated."
Guevara remains one of the most accomplished MLS players to ever come out of Central America. Known as “El Lobo” (The Wolf), the Honduran international enjoyed his finest years from 2003-06 playing for the MetroStars/New York Red Bulls.
He earned the 2004 MLS MVP award and helped New York to three playoff appearances. Following his time with the Red Bulls, he made stops at Chivas USA as well as Toronto FC — with a loan at Motagua sandwiched in between — before finally leaving MLS for Motagua for good in 2010.
Joining Guevara on Tuesday night at the Home Depot Center was former MLS All-Star Iván Guerrero, who spent time several years in MLS playing for the Chicago Fire, San Jose Earthquakes, Colorado Rapids and D.C. United.
Also in the starting lineup was Guillermo “Pando” Ramírez, who spent just half a season with the LA Galaxy in 2005. Although his time in the league was short, his impact was great, as Ramírez scored the game-winning goal in extra time against the New England Revolution to give the Galaxy their second MLS Cup title.
Following Tuesday’s match, one member of the Galaxy admitted that it was refreshing to see three former MLS players still performing at a high level.
“It was good to see them,” said Galaxy captain Landon Donovan. “I’ve known Amado for a long time, obviously Pando was here and I’ve also played against Guerrero a couple of times."
Although Donovan admitted that he was pleased to see the ex-MLSers, he saved his greatest praise for the 35-year-old Guevara.
“I’m just so impressed at Amado and how good he still moves and how good he is,” added Donovan. “He’s still going and I’ve got a lot of respect for people who can do that for so long.”
Adam Serrano is a reporter for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter: @adamserrano