MountainStar Sports Group (MSSG) announced today at a press conference that soccer veteran forward and hometown talent Omar Salgado signed as the first player of the El Paso USL franchise.

 

He returns to the Sun City with a storied background, including time played in both the United States U20 and U23 National Teams, and in both Major League Soccer and Liga MX. Salgado was the No. 1 pick in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft by Vancouver Whitecaps FC, while spending time with different English Premier League clubs.

“It’s an honor to start with this club,” said Salgado, who will play for the Las Vegas Lights FC for the remainder of the 2018 season, per a contract agreement and pending league approval. “I think it (El Paso USL) will be here for a long time. I can’t wait to play for this team and I can’t wait for 2019."

Salgado, a former student at Cathedral High School, finished his contract with Tigres UANL of Liga MX and was contacted by Andrew Forrest, El Paso’s General Manager.

“Andrew found out I wanted to come back home and talked to me about the organization,” Salgado said. “Hopefully I get a lot of minutes. This is home; a fun place to live.”

Photo by Adrian Broaddus

 

Forrest says the organization is “about four to six weeks away” from announcing the finalists for the team name and from hiring a head coach. For now, though, his focus is on celebrating his “LeBron James of USL” signing.

“It all happened so quickly,” Forrest said. “We identified him as a dream-get. It came to our attention that he was available. He had a lot of interest in coming home.

“This was a dream. He happened to be from El Paso, play soccer professional and play exceptionally well. You couldn’t write this fairytale any better.”

Salgado left El Paso at 15 to further a soccer career with Club Deportivo Guadalajara, or better known as Chivas, where he scored seven goals in 10 games and named Player of the Tournament in South America’s U-17 Copa Liberatores competition. He left Chivas for the United States U-20 team.

In the MLS as a rookie, Salgado scored in his debut against Columbus for Vancouver. He unfortunately endured two fractured foot injuries in 2012 and 2013. Then in 2014, he was traded to New York City FC, which was later purchased by Tigres.

“This was a remarkable opportunity for us to sign a world-class player with international experience whose roots are firmly planted in El Paso.  Omar is a wonderful person who will represent El Paso well both on and off the pitch,” said Alan Ledford, President of MountainStar Sports Group. “We are happy to welcome him home.”