When Honduras kicked off their first match in the World Cup against Chile on Wednesday morning, former FC Dallas midfielder Ramon Nuñez was among the First XI for Los Catrachos.
Nuñez was a first-round pick of FCD in 2004 and spent nearly four seasons in Frisco before he was traded to Chivas USA midway through the 2007 campaign. In 67 games, he had 14 goals and nine assists.
Three players and one assistant coach from his time with FCD are still around in Frisco, and each is happy to see him doing well on soccer’s biggest stage.
“That’s fantastic. He left here and was trying to find his way,” assistant coach Marco Ferruzzi said. “It looks like he’s going in the right direction. Starting in the middle of the park for his country, that’s fantastic. It’s incredible. It speaks well of the work he’s put in since he’s left here. We’re happy for him. It’s a great testament.”
His ex-teammates concur.
“It’s fantastic to see old teammates playing in the World Cup. Whenever he was in Dallas, you could always see he was one of the most talented players on the field,” midfielder Dax McCarty said. “His skill and his ability to shoot from long distance and take guys on one-v-one is something that not many players have. To see him play in the World Cup, it’s an honor just to say I played with him.”
FCD goalkeeper Dario Sala is equally happy for Nuñez.
“The Honduran community was following Ramon when he was with FC Dallas. We’re happy for him,” Sala said. “He did really well in Mexico and was a champion in Honduras. In MLS, he wasn’t that successful, but when he left Chivas (USA), he had a new career.”
Current FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman recruited Nuñez to play for him at SMU and coached him in 2003, his lone collegiate season.
“I’m really happy for Ramon and his family,” Hyndman said. “Ramon has been nothing but a pure soccer person his whole life. He’s gotten great support from his mom and dad. We had him a short time at SMU, where he did a really good job for us. He’s on the national team of Honduras and I think deservedly so. He’s been a very successful story not just for the SMU player, but the Dallas player.”