Contreras, Guatemala remain composed in CCA

The play of Jose Contreras (white jersey) has helped Guatemala to a 2-0-0 record thus far in 2014 Central American Cup play. (Photo: Mexsport)

DALLAS, Texas - Jose Contreras is taking a calm approach to Guatemala’s initial success in the 2014 Central American Cup (CCA).

After all, the Chapines failed to qualify for the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup by virtue of falling to Panama (3-1) in the CCA’s match for fifth place two years ago.  They now, however, find themselves sitting atop Group A with a perfect 2-0-0 record.  A return to the Gold Cup is within reach, but Contreras knows there is still more to do. 

"There has to be a balance and I think the group is taking it in the best way,” said the midfielder, who is also leading Comunicaciones’ charge in the CONCACAF Champions League.

The 28-year-old has been a key performer in wins over El Salvador (2-1) and Belize (2-1), becoming Guatemala’s midfield focal point and assisting on goals in both games.

"We took an important step,” commented Contreras, who has also played with Chile’s Universidad de Concepcion and Arsenal de Sarandi in Argentina.  “It has been a long time since we won two games in a row.

He quickly added, though, that Guatemala “still needs” to qualify for the Gold Cup.

Without much time to celebrate, the 2001 CCA champion moves on to Houston for a Wednesday meeting against winless Honduras at BBVA Compass Stadium.  With a win or a draw, it will advance to the CCA final and seal a Gold Cup berth.

"We hope to travel to Houston with complete tranquility and play a good match against Honduras, which will be a tough opponent,” Contreras finished.  “We will continue working with humility to take that important step and thus to reach the final.”