Rafael Burgos (#9) and Kevin Santamaria (#10) each helped El Salvador earn a spot in Central American Cup's match for third place against Panama on September 13, 2014, in Los Angeles. (Photo: Mexsport)
HOUSTON, Texas – When Albert Roca was hired as El Salvador’s new head coach in May, one of his main objectives was to bring joy to the country’s fans.
After a superb Central American Cup (CCA) group stage campaign with two wins in three games, the 51-year-old believes that goal is well on its way to being accomplished.
“I sincerely believe we have brought joy to the fans in this tournament,” said Roca. “I believe that the fans realize this is a new generation. It’s important that they are proud again, which is one of my basic objectives; that the people support, go to games, enjoy this football and the team.”
After falling narrowly to Guatemala in its tournament opener, 2-1, El Salvador was impressive in wins over Honduras (1-0) and Belize (2-0). The steady level of improvement over course of three games pleased Roca.
“I am happy with the players’ performance,” expressed the 51-year-old Spaniard. “They took to the field with clear ideas. They have created chances. I have seen a national team with confidence and that is what I have liked.”
When asked about which players stood out for him, Roca instead preferred to talk about the team as a whole.
“All of the players have contributed,” he concluded. “I prefer to talk about the group, not individuals. That is the way to continue. If we want to continue growing, we have to be ambitious. I have to congratulate the boys. They exhibited some great football.”
El Salvador will face Panama in the CCA’s match for third place on Saturday at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.