The Houston Dynamo suffered the tragic loss of a former Academy player last Saturday. According to news reports, Sergio Mejia Sanchez was murdered on his way to his home stadium in Puerto Cortes, Honduras. He was 18.
Details of Mejia’s death have not been confirmed, but reports indicate a brutal attack involving up to 10 assailants. Mejia was playing for Club Platense FC’s reserve team as he tried to begin his professional career.
Those who knew Sergio remember him as a popular teammate, with a skillful left foot who never shied away from a tackle, or a smile, on the field.
“His attitude in training and games, it reminded me a lot of the old successful Dynamo teams,” former Dynamo Academy coach Eddie Robinson told HoustonDynamo.com. “He was gritty, he was hard-nosed, he never backed out of a challenge. He would get in fights with his own teammates. He cared.”
After playing for the Academy Under-14s during the 2011-12 season, Mejia’s parents divorced and he left Houston to live with his Dad in Honduras for one year. He returned to Houston and was immediately welcomed back into the Academy. Robinson was coaching the Under-16s at the time and remembers the reception Mejia received upon his return.
“He showed up [for his first day back] and training had already started,” Robinson said. “He walked up and I didn’t say anything [to the group] or stop training. But all the players saw him and everyone stopped and went and gave him a hug, greeted him and were laughing with him. That right there is everything you need to know about Sergio Mejia, what his teammates thought about him. They stopped training to give him a hug and welcome him back. It’s really a tragedy what happened to him. He’s going to be missed by a lot of people, not just his family and his friends.”
James Clarkson, the Dynamo Director of Youth Development, knew Sergio from his first days in the Academy.
“He was an outstanding player and played left back for us,” Clarkson said. “He was a good kid, a really nice kid. He worked hard and always was here. We thought he had a really bright future and then he moved back to Honduras to be with his Dad.”
Sergio was born in 1997 and played with a talented group of players who shared the same birth year, including Christian Lucatero, Juan Martinez, Edwin Gomez, Lucio Martinez, Sergio Qunitanilla, Charly Flores, Noe Ochoa, Roberto Marquez, Nixon Urrutia and Johan Welch.
“He was a ’97 and that was a good team and he played in every game, so he was a very valuable member of a very good team,” Clarkson said. “It’s a very tragic end. He was always happy, always played with a smile on his face. He liked to tackle. Had a lovely left foot, but it was more his happy demeanor and the fact that he was always smiling that I think attracted everybody else to him.”
Robinson remembers a talented player with technical ability and a desire to put in the extra work to improve.
“As a player, I thought he was excellent. He was left footed, was very good technically, passed a good ball, liked getting forward, loved crossing the ball. He was one of a few kids you had to force them off the field when training was over. You had to make them go home, they didn’t want to leave.”
R.I.P. To my brother Sergio Mejia . One of the best players I've ever shared the field with. May god be with you pic.twitter.com/RWGt3TkjAH— Lucio Martinez (@Martinez_lucio8) September 4, 2016
Tomorrow is never guaranteed. Rest In Peace to my friend Sergio Mejia. I miss you bro. pic.twitter.com/GmIAOWsFZV— Deniz Sipahi (@Denizsipahi36) September 4, 2016
Still can't believe what has occurred, all I know is that you're in a better place now. R.I.P Sergio Mejia.— Edwin (@EdwinGo_30) September 4, 2016
R.I.P Sergio Mejia. It was an honor to share the same field as you, such a great talent taken away from us. pic.twitter.com/6NIV2VEinM— Sergio Quintanilla (@Squintanilla10) September 4, 2016