El Salvador's Arturo Alvarez (blue jersey) has played in Europe since 2012. (Photo: Mexsport)
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- El Salvador heads into its 13th Central American Cup campaign with a young squad that consists of numerous foreign-based players.
With Albert Roca now at the helm as head coach, restoring confidence and improving results have become priorities.
"We want to bring our experience to El Salvador return to the world stage,” said midfielder Arturo Alvarez, who plays with Videoton in Hungary. “This group of players is psyched to find clean the bad image that was generated in the last few months."
The 29-year-old agrees that playing the last three years in Europe (with Portugal’s Paços de Ferreira and Videoton) has helped him grow as a player.
"Definitely, being in European football, I’m growing day by day and this is what I want to convey to my national team,” continued Alvarez. “Hiring coach Albert Roca was a great success and his work began to be seen in the two international friendlies (against the Ivory Coast and Spain) a few months ago. "
Minnesota United forward Rafael Burgos believes that this new generation of Salvadoran footballers has the opportunity to make history for their country.
"Never before has a team of El Salvador had many players abroad and we come to defend the colors of El Salvador to the death,” expressed Burgos. “Playing abroad allows us to gain more experience and maturity and it is what we will pass on to our teammates."
Burgos, who was joint-top scorer in the 2011 Central American Cup with three goals, likes the idea of playing the competition in the United States and that it should be a benefit to the Cuscatlecos.
"It helps a lot that many of us to play in the United States,” he concluded. “We have spoken among us about our goals and dreams and one of them is to fight for the title.”
El Salvador will start the journey for its Central American Cup championship against Guatemala on Wednesday in Washington, D.C., at Robert F. Kennedy Stadium.