Two borderland athletes will be part of the new El Paso Locomotive FC soccer team – Omar Eduardo Salgado and Louis “Chapa” Herrera.
Herrera, 22, was picked by the Locomotive earlier this year after an open tryout where players from the region were invited to play in front of the coaches. He will be a midfielder for the team.
Salgado, 25, became the first player to be signed with the team. He will play as a forward. Salgado attended Cathedral High School and has played for Club Deportivo Guadalajara, known as the Chivas. He has played for the U.S. National Teams and in Major League Soccer and Liga MX, as well as the Las Vegas Lights FC.
Salgado answered some questions for El Paso Kid’s Inc., and here’s what he had to say about soccer, growing up in the border and more.
Q: How did you become interested in soccer?
My father played at an amateur level his whole life. He loves the sport and til this day analyzes and comments on every play of every game I play. He is the main reason I started playing the sport at the age of 3, and since then pushed me to become what I am today. He’s the main reason I love this sport and decided to pursue it as a career.
Q: What’s your favorite or best soccer move or trick? Can you spin a soccer ball like a basketball?
My best soccer move is probably a quick shot fake and sprint. Hopefully it helps me score a lot of goals this season! I can try to spin a ball like a basketball, but I’m not great at it!
Q: Do you call it fútbol or soccer, and why?
I call it both! It really depends who I’m speaking too, but I think there’s nothing wrong with calling it soccer or fútbol. At the end of the day, we are all talking about the same sport, no matter what you like to call it.
Q: Chivas or America? And, who’s your favorite MLS team?
Tigres! My favorite team since I was little in Mexico is Tigres. My aunt, who lives in Monterrey, gave me a Tigres Jersey as a Christmas present when I was 5, and since then I became a fan of the club. I was quite excited to know I would be playing for them four years ago. It truly was a dream come true.
In terms of MLS, my favorite team is Vancouver Whitecaps. I spent four years playing there and I will always be thankful to them for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to play at the highest level at such a top class organization. I know there best years are still yet to come.
Q: You have to be in shape to be a professional athlete. What does your workout consist of?
During the season, staying in shape is quite easy. We train every morning, and in the afternoons, I usually get in a gym session to strengthen areas I need to improve. In the offseason, I try to find a couple of people who are willing to go out to the field and train three or four times a week, as well as work out in the gym around six times a week.
Q: You probably also have to eat right. What’s your diet like?
In terms of diet, since I’ve moved back, I’ve been able to partner up with Grubster Inc., which has been providing me with some great meal prep meals every day. It’s helped me keep my diet on track and maintain my fitness at the highest level.
Q: But you also grew up around the border where there’s great Mexican food. What’s your favorite Mexican dish?
I love Mexican food! Although I don’t eat it very often, I do enjoy some huevos rancheros in the morning when available.
Q: What’s so “crazy” about the Locomotive?
The passion that the citizens of El Paso show for this sport and this great city is what makes this organization so awesome. I’m positive that Southwest University Park will be the craziest place to be at in the United States on March 9.
Q: “Locomotion” by Little Eva (or Grand Funk Railroad) or “Crazy Train” by Ozzy Osbourne?
“Crazy Train” by Ozzy Osbourne for sure. I really enjoy the lyrics and the rhythm of the music. I’m sure that song will be pumping us up for the first game come March 9.
Q: What’s on your favorite music list at the moment?
Currently, my two favorite songs of the month are “If Only,” by Andrea Bocelli (Ft. Dua Lipa) and “This Feeling,” by The Chainsmokers (Ft. Kelsea Ballerini).
Q: What experiences did you gain growing up on the border, and how has it helped your career?
In the locker room, there are multiple cultures and backgrounds. Developing skills to learn from one another and grow with each other as a team is invaluable for a successful team and a winning season.
Having grown up in El Paso with so many different cultures and backgrounds from different countries helped me transition what I experienced into the locker room and grow not only as a player, but as a teammate as well.
Q: What advice would you give to young kids who have dreams of playing professional soccer?
Throughout my years as a professional soccer player, I’ve learned to deal with the ups and downs of not only my career, but life. I’ve gone through multiple injuries and setbacks that have made me question whether I was ever going to play again.
I’ve also been lucky enough to enjoy some success and the rewards that soccer has given me. Through it all, I’ve learned that perseverance will in the end, reap its rewards.
Work hard for what you want in life and never give up.
Embrace the struggle and work through it!
Nothing lasts forever, whether that be success or failure. Enjoy success and learn from failure.
Some of the best life lessons I’ve learned have been through failure and some of the best moments in my life have come through those instances of success.