TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras – It was a warm, beautiful day in Tegucigalpa, the club’s first full day in Honduras. While the sunshine was a welcoming sight, the clouds rolled in throughout the day as it does this time of year in the region.
Today offered the coaching staff and players their first look and feel of Estadio Tiburcio Caría Andino during an afternoon training session at the ground. Waiting for the club’s arrival at the stadium were members of the local media and on-lookers anxious to get a glimpse of the team up close.
There were approximately 50 special guests at training today, kids from three different organizations that work with at-risk youth in Tegucigalpa. After training, the players had the opportunity to meet with the kids and deliver 19 indestructible soccer balls from One World Futbol gathered by Stand Together through the Global Assists program (which offers one indestructible ball for each Timbers assist). The players signed autographs and took photos, while the kids were quick to try out the new soccer balls on the pitch. It was a proud moment to be able to help make an impact in a community so far away from home.
Fans of MLS may remember Honduran standout Amado Guevera, who welcomed the club at the stadium today. Guevera, the 2004 MLS MVP with the New York MetroStars and career leader for Honduran national team caps, began his professional playing career with C.D. Olimpia’s in-town rival C.D. Motagua. Guevara's MLS career spanned from 2003-09 and included stints with the New York Red Bulls, Chivas USA and Toronto FC. Guevera also overlapped at Toronto with current Timbers goalkeeper coach Mike Toshack.
Little known fact, Guevera is the last MLS player to record double-digit totals in both goals and assists in back-to-back seasons before Diego Valeri (and Robbie Keane) accomplished the feat in 2014.
There is a thirst for just who are the Portland Timbers among the local media. In fact, the media covered the team’s arrival yesterday at the hotel. Today, head coach Caleb Porter and forward Gastón Fernández spoke before a group of more than a dozen media members following training.
In the middle of a busy stretch, players took advantage of any downtime today to rest and prepare for the games ahead, starting Tuesday evening aganst C.D. Olimpia (7pm PT, FOX Soccer Plus).