CARSON, Calif. — Back in Honduras, a writer coined the nickname "El Hijo del Viento" – the Son of the Wind – for speedy FC Dallas winger Marvin Chavez. For his compatriots, the name stuck.
After his goal and assist in the 3-0 thrashing of the Los Angeles Galaxy, FC Dallas manager Schellas Hyndman began referring to his midfielder by a new name, “The Little Mosquito,” because of his 5-foot-5 stature and his ability to irritate defenders with his darting runs.
“[Defenders] get nervous when Marvin is around,” Hyndman said. “He’s competitive and courageous and he’s been outstanding these last four to six weeks.”
But Hyndman’s mosquito nearly flew back to Honduras in the summer, after failing to appear in the first 11 matches of the season. After 24 matches in 2010, he had only featured as a starter on four occasions.
After a slow transition period when he was signed in August 2009, the diminutive Honduran international encountered injury after injury in his first full season. First came a right MCL sprain in preseason followed by a right hamstring strain.
“I was anxious,” Chávez told MLSsoccer.com. “As an international player, I came to contribute, not to injure myself.”
Chávez sought out a meeting with Hyndman in which he suggested ending the loan deal and returning to Honduran club Marathón.
“I was about to leave the club because I was disappointed in myself,” he said. “I had an injury, I recovered and fell back into another injury. I spoke to my family and spoke to my coach and thought that the best thing would be to return to Honduras. He [Hyndman] asked me to think about it.”
Said Hyndman, “He was frustrated and he came up to me and said, ‘If I’m hurting the team I understand if you release me.’ I said that, ‘As long as you’re giving me your best, things will work out.’ He never stopped trying and working hard.”
The Honduran’s big break came when regular left winger Brek Shea missed matches due to a red card suspension and a US national team call-up in September. Chávez hasn’t looked back since, starting seven of the last nine matches of the 2010 season.
His confidence is back and he even predicted a 2-0 win going into Los Angeles. His friendship with Colombian playmaker David Ferreira was on full display against the Galaxy, as they combined for two of the three Dallas goals at the Home Depot Center.
Facing the expiration of his loan deal in December, Chávez says he wants to continue at FC Dallas, no matter what nickname they want to use for him.
“Of course, I’m not giving up ‘Hijo del Viento,’" he said, "not that nickname.”