• Monday Jul 21, 2014

    Blanco aims to help FAS past CCL group stage

    El Salvador international Mark Lester Blanco (pictured) is looking to make an extended run in the 2014/15 CONCACAF Champions League with FAS. (Photo: Mexsport)

    SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador – A desire to play once again in the CONCACAF Champions League (CCL) was a motivating factor for Mark Lester Blanco, when he decided to join El Salvador’s FAS recently.

    Last season, the 25-year-old forward played with Luis Angel Firpo, which was relegated to the second division.  Ultimately, he made a move to a club that promised CONCACAF football.

    Blanco appeared in two editions of the CCL as a member of Isidro Metapan.  All three of his goals in the competition came with the Jaguares, including both in a monumental 2-1 quarterfinal win over Mexico’s Pumas on March 8, 2012.

    The El Salvador international wants to help Tigres push past the group stage for the first time in their third attempt.

    "It's a big responsibility to play for FAS," Lester told CONCACAF.com.  "I have come to team up in order to win a championship and to get as far as possible in the Champions League, a great showcase for all players in the region.

    "I've acclimated quickly to the squad because I know several of them from the national team.  We had a good preseason that will serve us for the two competitions.”

    In addition to the 2014 Salvadoran Apertura, FAS will measure itself in the CCL against Group 3 rivals Impact de Montreal (Canada) and the New York Red Bulls (USA).

    Lester, though, is undaunted by the North American challenge.   

    "I'm not afraid of the two MLS teams," he said.  "We all want to move to the next phase.  We start on the road and we want to take points.  That is the key in order to think about progressing.”

    FAS will open its CCL schedule in Montreal on August 5 at the Stade Saputo.

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