Skip to main content

The Spanish quartet in Puerto Rico - Mario Martínez (30th November, 2017)

That's right - there are four Spaniards playing at Puerto Rico Football Club, a franchise that resides in the second division (NASL). And one of them is Yuma, the former Rayo youth graduate and cousin of Antonio Amaya and Iván Amaya.

But what about the other three?



The American dream is all about doing better than your parents. Chus Martínez, a defender, never even made it to professional football - the high point of his career was playing for Numancia in the Segunda B between 1989-93.

In contrast, midfielder Mario Martínez made his professional debut at the age of 18. Also a product of hometown Numancia's youth system Mario first appeared with its first team during the 2002-03 season in the Segunda. It took him several seasons, including two loan spells to Segunda B sides Las Palmas in 2006 and Zamora in 2007, until he finally broke into the first team. Under Gonzalo Arconada, He would go on to play 34 times scoring three goals in the 2007-08 season as the Soria side returned to La Liga after a three-year absence.

Mario celebrating scoring that goal. On the opening day of the 2008-09 campaign, Barcelona lost in a shock 1-0 defeat at Numancia. He scored the winning goal.


After playing in only 13 league matches out of 42 in the 2010-11 campaign (out of which only one of them was a full 90-minute appearance), 26-year-old Mario was released by Numancia, signing with Real Unión in the Segunda B. He did not settle with any club or in any country in the following years, representing Olympiakos Nicosia in Cyprus (2012), Baku in Azerbaijan (2013-14), Tarazona in the Tercera (2014-15), Jaguares de Córdoba in Columbia (2015), Club Blooming in Bolivia (2015-16), Boavista in Portugal (2016), Kissamikos in Greece (2016-17) and finally Puerto Rico since the start of this calendar year.

Today's post is quite short, simply because I wanted to write something instead of nothing. Apologies for that - normal length posts will resume tomorrow...

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Non-league Incider: Cray Valley Paper Mills 4-4 Punjab United Gravesend

Last game: 9th August: St Helens Town 3-0 Atherton Laburnum Rovers
After ripping up my groundhopping calendar, mostly because I was determined to avoid overnight travel, and partly due to other commitments, there was a period of time where non-league football took a backseat.
But that period did not last long. Because of course it didn't.

Secretly, I'd loved travelling over ten hours back-and-forth to watch some 10th division football. And this was 9th division football in London.
When I had gone to East Dulwich exactly a week back, I had commented on how the amount of graffiti struck me as I watched from on board a southeastern train. I was going the exact same way, but much further this time - then I had stopped at Denmark Hill, now I would have to go six stations further. The graffiti I had thought was so emblematic of south London quickly disappeared, as did the tall buildings desperately cluttered together. We, and by we I mean me, were going to the suburbs. The stations be…

Non-league Incider: St Helens Town 3-0 Atherton Laburnum Rovers

Last game: 8th August: Dulwich Hamlet 2-1 East Thurrock United

The previous day, I was blown away by my first ever football match experience. Dulwich Hamlet impressed me, but what impressed me more was the journey. The travel to the stadium was just as enjoyable as the football itself.

I had caught the groundhopping bug.

There were no games scheduled for the 9th of August. There was one, near Wigan, and all I had booked earlier was a refundable bus ticket from Manchester Airport leaving at quarter past midnight.

I should have refunded it. This was a mistake. This whole day was a mistake.

I was only slightly hungover from the previous night, but that was nothing compared to this feeling of loss - I couldn't handle the fact that there was a game happening. And I wasn't too far away. Just three hours and a bit. They'll fly by, I thought.

I was in autopilot. Something within me made me get up, grab a bag, and get out the door. This wasn't me. I wasn't travelling - I was …

Jaime Mata - the one that got away (18th January, 2018)

A few months ago, Rayo fans woke up to this:
CONVOCATORIA| 📋 Lista de 1️⃣9️⃣ jugadores para el debut mañana en la #CopaDelRey🏆 #NumanciaMálaga⚽️ #VamosMálaga💙 👉 https://t.co/hlScwtJkhYpic.twitter.com/qFGrdvOnrQ — Málaga CF (@MalagaCF) October 23, 2017
That was a bittersweet moment - pride for a Rayista who was going to succeed at Málaga, but bitterness at the club for letting him go for free and not tying him down early enough.

Midfielder Pablo Clavería slipped through the cracks. He wasn't renewed, and got tired of waiting - a depressingly normal situation for a smaller, cash-strapped club.

This is the story of another player who slipped through.

Like Pablo, he has a powerful shot on him. Unlike Pablo, it's key to his job. The striker made his name in his hometown of Madrid in the Tercera, after rising through the ranks of Galáctico Pegaso. He would play for the reserves in 2007, before playing for the senior team during the 2008-09 campaign.

During the 2009-10 campaign, ec…