GUADALAJARA, Mexico – New York-born winger Diego Chávarri finally debuted with Peruvian first-division team Cobresol last Sunday, marking a return to first-team football that was nearly four months in the making.
The 23-year-old played with Sporting Cristal until late last year, but the Peruvian powerhouse didn’t renew his contract following a string of injuries, something that left a bitter taste in his mouth.
“They didn’t treat me well,” Chávarri told MLSsoccer.com by phone from Peru on Monday. “They left me with an injury to treat.”
After recovering, Chávarri headed north to Central Florida to train with Orlando City, but with no contract offer from the USL Pro side and with time in the registration window running out, he received a call from Cobresol coach Teddy Cardama saying the club was more than interested.
The two sides breezed through negotiations on a contract through December.
“I feel really happy to be playing again,” said Chávarri, who played 32 minutes on Sunday in Cobresol’s 1-1 tie with León de Huánuco. “[There are] good players [at Cobresol] and I feel really good here.”
Chávarri stormed onto the Peruvian soccer scene in 2009 with Sporting Cristal and, according to reports in Peru, there was some interest for his services from Vitesse of the Dutch top flight.
Injuries since then have taken their toll, with Chávarri playing only 18 first-division games since his professional debut. But the rapid winger, who left the Big Apple for his parents’ native Peru when he was only one month old, is hoping the new environment at his new club will bring him a bit of luck on the injury front.
Tom Marshall covers Americans playing in Latin America. E-mail him at email@example.com