At the Carolina RailHawks’ preseason luncheon for media preceding the club’s international friendly with Deportivo Toluca FC, RailHawks president Curt Johnson mentioned how the team hoped playing Toluca would attract the Triangle’s Mexican population for future games.
A member of the Hispanic media then raised a question: “If you’re trying to attract Mexican fans, why are there no Mexicans on the (RailHawks)?”
Johnson mentioned that coach Colin Clarke had been scouting down in Mexico in the previous year, but that it isn’t easy to lure Liga MX players away, mainly due to the compensation they receive.
New owner Stephen Malik has started a new era of soccer in the Triangle with his monetary investments off the pitch, and Monday night the club spent what was likely a hefty sum to add a Mexican player – maybe even a superstar – to its roster.
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Fox Sports’ Fernando Fiore tweeted that Mexican international Omar Bravo, 36, had been signed by the RailHawks.
The team was expected to announce an addition to the team during halftime of Tuesday’s friendly match, and that player looks like Bravo.
Though the final score of Tuesday’s match doesn’t much matter, this roster move will put more pressure on the RailHawks to gain results in their upcoming league matches where wins do matter.
Carolina has only won one of its past eight matches since beginning the North American Soccer League Spring Season 4-0-0.
Bravo is leaving Liga MX club Guadalajara, where he was the team captain and holds the club’s record with 132 goals.
The final impact of his career with Guadalajara wasn’t long ago, as he scored the game-clinching goal of its Supercopa MX victory over Veracruz recently on July 10.
He has also made appearances for Deportivo La Coruña, UANL Tigres, Sporting Kansas City, Cruz Azul and Atlas.
Spain’s Deportivo La Coruña (25 appearances) and the United States’ Sporting Kansas City (28 appearances) are the only clubs Bravo has played for outside of Mexico during his career.
In international play, he’s made 65 appearances and scored 15 goals for the senior squad. Bravo also scored two goals in the 2004 Summer Olympics.