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Once fearing retirement, healthy Salgado still pursues MLS dream

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Once fearing retirement, healthy Salgado still pursues MLS dream
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Once fearing retirement, healthy Salgado still pursues MLS dream

He's hardly played in two years, but the dream isn't over for Vancouver Whitecaps forward Omar Salgado.

Fit now after he missed the entirety of the 2013 MLS season after fracturing the fifth metatarsal in his right foot for the third time in a two-year period, the 20-year-old is on loan with Vancouver's USL Pro affiliate Charleston Battery.

It's a bid to show he can play regularly, stay healthy and contribute at the professional level – this after his three-year spell with the Whitecaps has been stop-start in nature, largely interrupted by that initial injury in June 2012 suffered while with the Under 20 U.S. national team and the two re-fractures since.

The move came about after Salgado found himself out of new coach Carl Robinson's matchday squad for two consecutive weeks to start the season.

For a player who has missed so much time through injury, to miss out when healthy was agonizing.

“It was frustrating personally not to be able to play,” Salgado told Goal Canada by phone from Charleston on Wednesday. “Every player wants to play. I think that's understandable. I talked to Robbo and we had a conversation. I explained to him that I felt like I needed to play some games, get my game fitness back after the last couple of years.

“They gave me two options – stick it out there, or come here. I decided to come here and get those games.”

After the Whitecaps drafted him first overall in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft, the spotlight has followed Salgado to an extent – but he's desperate to ensure he's not a player that ends up on one of those “whatever happened to” lists.

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