Honduras’ Lozano excels by being himself

Antony Lozano (pictured) stars for Honduras' under-23 and senior national teams. (Photo: Mexsport)

CARSON, California -- Antony Lozano doesn’t like comparisons. The Honduran considers himself unique, a player with his own style.

What he doesn’t mind, though, is being likened to some of his country’s all-time best players.

The 22-year-old is often spoken of in glowing terms, especially when his name comes up in conversations that reference Carlos Pavon and Carlos Costly, two of Honduras’ greatest-ever forwards.

“I try to be myself,” said Lozano, who scored one goal in the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup and appeared in four matches at the 2012 Olympic Football Tournament. “Those players have a history to respect. They are role model players, who have given Honduras so much.

“I try to do my thing, my work, without comparing or imitating what they do. They were great goalscorers. I grew up watching him (Carlos Pavon). He scored a lot, so he is an example to follow.”

Lozano, who is currently on loan at Spanish second-division side Tenerife from Olimpia, scored the lone goal as Honduras defeated Haiti 1-0 in the CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship opener for each on Friday night at the StubHub Center.

As the Catrachos prepare to open their qualifying campaign for the 2018 FIFA World Cup next month, his role with the squad continues to grow under head coach Jorge Luis Pinto. It is difficult to ignore Lozano’s increased versatility and ability to excel in different areas of the field. He’s feeding balls into the penalty box and dropping to defend.

“I am a player who likes to play a bit further back,” Lozano finished. “Playing alone at the top is a bit more complicated, but you have to adapt to what the coach asks you to do.”

With an encounter against Costa Rica slated for Sunday, you can be sure that Pinto that will beseech Lozano to do what he does best: score goals.