Hugo Perez
Courtesy of U.S. Soccer

Former USMNT great, US U-15s coach Hugo Perez announces desire to coach El Salvador national team

Former US national team star Hugo Perez has thrown his hat into the ring for El Salvador's vacant head coaching post, announcing his interest in the job via his Twitter feed.

El Salvador's previous coach, Spaniard Albert Roca, stepped down from the job after Los Cuscatlecos' group-stage exit from the Gold Cup earlier this month, a move he maintained was for personal reasons and not linked to the team's performance.

And this week Perez made clear that he is ready to go to work for the country of his birth.

“I hereby thank the Salvadoran people for their support in regards to the position of national-team coach. It is a position I want,” tweeted Perez. “With the media, the work of the players and the unconditional support of the fans, we can reach Russia 2018!

“Together with a national coaching staff, but prepared for international level, we will establish a serious and professional project. It's time for FESFUT [the Salvadoran soccer federation] to work for what fans deserve. Let's all go together!”

Born in El Salvador, Perez moved to the United States as a child and eventually grew into a longtime USMNT standout, then concluded his club career with a stint at Salvadoran club CD FAS, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather.

A member of the 1994 US World Cup team and a 2008 US Soccer Hall of Fame inductee, Perez most recently coached the US U-15 national team, drawing high praise in developmental circles for his influence on a talented 1999-born crop of players. He departed that role last summer for reasons unexplained by him or the federation.

“Not only do I want the position, I want to make a difference with it, and help our players to believe they can do it,” Perez tweeted to a fan with regards to his interest in the El Salvador job.

Los Cuscatlecos currently sit 88th in the FIFA World Rankings and are set to meet Curacao in a home-and-home series in September, with the winner to join Mexico, Honduras and the winner of the Canada vs. Belize matchup in Group A of CONCACAF's fourth round of 2018 World Cup qualifying.