Rafael Burgos (blue jersey) is a veteran of Copa Centroamericana play. (Photo: Mexsport)
BLAINE, MINNESOTA – Prior to traveling to Washington, D.C., for El Salvador’s 2014 Central American Cup opener on Wednesday against Guatemala, forward Rafael Burgos spoke to CONCACAF.com about his expectations for the tournament.
The 26-year-old, whose club career has taken him to Guatemala, Europe and, currently, the United States, is enthusiastic for the opening whistle.
"I'm happy because I've never played against Guatemala, a country that received me well, so I keep a big baby," said Burgos, who played in Guatemala with Petapa. "Now that I will face them and I will do as I always have to fight for and defend my country with all my colors.”
Burgos was the co-scoring leader at the 2011 Copa Centroamericana, equaling the three-goal haul of Costa Rica’s Marco Ureña. He didn’t score in that year’s semifinal against Honduras, but he did find the net against them two years later, when the competition was played in Costa Rica. The former Alianza standout looks forward to playing the Catrachos again on September 7 in Dallas.
"Honduras has always been a strong selection,” Burgos commented. “Now with its new coach, I do not think it will change.”
El Salvador and Belize met in the 2013 third-place match, a game that the Cuscatlecos won narrowly, 1-0. Burgos is expecting another tough test, when they meet again on September 10 in Houston.
"The last time that we faced Belize was when we were playing for third place,” he noted. “It is a selection that has changed a lot. It is playing better today and has more ideas on how to play.”
El Salvador has never won the Copa Centroamericana, but has finished third on five ocacsions.