The top five Hondurans in MLS history
With Thursday's news that the Houston Dynamo snagged Honduran international Carlo Costly — who’s tabbed as Honduras' replacement for Catrachos icon Carlos Pavón — the writers at MLSsoccer.com decided to compile a list of the five best Hondurans ever to don an MLS kit.
Like everything, the picks are open to discussion, so feel free to join the conversation below.
1. Amado Guevara
Honduras’ captain and all-time caps leader is the definition of a midfield maestro. Smart, cunning and with the ability to strike at a moment’s notice — just like his nickname "El Lobo" (The Wolf) implies – Guevara spent the majority of his MLS career orchestrating memorable moments for the MetroStars and Red Bulls from 2003-06.
The midfielder shined the most in 2004, taking home the MLS MVP award, the MLS Golden Boot, an MLS Best XI selection and was named the MLS All-Star MVP. Guevara found his way to Toronto a couple of seasons later before rejoining Motagua in his native country.
2. Alex Pineda Chacón
All it took was one season for Pineda Chacón to carve his name in Major League Soccer lore. In 2001, in his first season in MLS, a relatively unheralded Pineda Chacón came off the Miami Fusion’s bench to score two goals in his first MLS appearance and didn’t look back.
He went on to score 19 goals and tallied nine assists in a talent-packed Fusion side en route to a scoring title, an MLS Best XI selection and the MLS MVP award. Miami were contracted the following season, and Pineda Chacón never reached those heights again in stints at New England, LA and Columbus.
3. Ramón Núñez
Long before becoming the next promising attacker for English Championship side Leeds United, the 25-year-old was the next promising attacker for Dallas. Drafted sixth overall in 2004 by the Burn, Núñez hit MLS as a fresh-faced 18-year-old.
Blessed with speed, agility, vision and touch, Núñez, who can play at either forward or midfield, didn’t get on the field until late in his rookie season. But once he did, the starting spot immediately became his. He went on to tally 14 goals and nine assists in 67 starts at Dallas before stints at Chivas USA, Olimpia (twice) and a brief run in Mexico.
4. Marvin Chávez
Faster than a speeding bullet, “The Son of the Wind” has become a crucial component for FC Dallas this year. Without Colombian playmaker David Ferreira to lead the team’s offense, FCD have relied on Chávez, who is second on the team in both goals and assists (four of each).
The 27-year-old joined Dallas on loan in 2009 and was a vital cog in their run to the MLS Cup last season. If FCD plan on reaching the same heights this season — plus further glory in the CONCACAF Champions League — Chávez will have to stay on top of his game, running swiftly through, around and past defenders.
5. Carlos Pavón
Although the legendary Honduran striker had a brief and unsuccessful spell with the LA Galaxy in 2007 — three goals in 18 appearances — no list of greatest Honduran players to don an MLS kit would be complete without his name on it.
The all-time leader in goals for los Catrachos with 56, Pavón cemented his place as a national hero when he hit the goal against El Salvador that qualified Honduras to the 2010 World Cup, the nation’s first appearance in the international tournament since 1982.
At age 37 and after a lengthy career mostly carved out in Mexico, Pavón is now playing his trade with the club that gave him his first pro start, Real España, and plans to retire at the end of this year.