El Salvadoran National Team Captain Darwin Cerén Makes Debut With San Jose Earthquakes
Special thanks to AJ Salazar and Angel Ponce for helping translate the quotes from Spanish to English.
Darwin Cerén, acquired by the San Jose Earthquakes from Orlando City SC, made his debut at Avaya Stadium just two days after arriving in San Jose. Cerén was brought on for Fatai Alashe in the 82nd minute Friday night against NYCFC, hoping to help break the 0-0 draw. Cerén immediately made an impact shortly after coming on, switching the ball to the feet of Chris Wondolowski in space and in front of goal. Wondolowski was unable to finish the chance, but Cerén’s key pass was something the Quakes have been lacking this year.
“I’m thankful for the opportunity I have and I’m happy to be given the opportunity to play tonight and enjoy the game,” the 26 year old El Salvadoran national said to the press following the match. “Sadly we couldn’t win but that’s just soccer for you. We had many chances to win the game but we could not finish them which leaves a tie game with the feeling of a loss.”
Cerén covers a lot of ground in the midfield, has an impressive work rate, and can play a great long ball. In 2015, Cerén was ranked 5th in MLS for passes per game, and was also ranked 11th for pass completion percentage and average tackles per game. “I like his tenacity, I think he’s a good passer on the ball,” Dominic Kinnear said after acquiring Cerén. “His attitude from day to day is fantastic.”
Cerén is also the current captain of El Salvador’s national team. In his 34 caps, he has scored 2 goals and made appearances in three different CONCACAF Gold Cups. “My first experience went really well, I definitely feel at home because there is a lot of Salvadorans in the area, which also makes me want to give a better effort for the people,” Cerén continued after the game. “I feel good, motivated and excited for this new challenge and I want to do my best possible here.”
“Hopefully my experience that I now have in this league will help me and the team to be in a good position to make the playoffs, which is most important,” Cerén went on. In his first MLS season, with Orlando City SC, Cerén impressed many and earned the honor of Latino del Año, voted on by fans of MLS clubs, and also earned Orlando City Player of the Year.
Cerén partnered well with Godoy in the limited action he saw, and his quality along with the rumored striker the Earthquakes are looking to sign could prove to be the deciding factor as to whether or not the Earthquakes make the playoffs in 2016.