Signing of Chivas Captain is Another Huge Statement by New RailHawks Owner Steve Malik
The Carolina RailHawks announced today they have acquired C.D. Chivas Guadalajara all-time leading scorer Omar Bravo. The Mexican international and Liga MX legend has joined the team and will be eligible to play upon receipt of his ITC certificate and P1 Visa. He will likely make his NASL home debut on Friday, July 22, when the RailHawks host Miami FC at WakeMed Soccer Park. Per club policy, no further terms of the deal were disclosed.
“We are thrilled to welcome Omar Bravo to our RailHawks family and look forward to seeing him on the field,” said RailHawks President and General Manager Curt Johnson. “This is a testament to our continued commitment to winning and providing the best brand of soccer for our fans throughout North Carolina. This is also an important statement by Steve that shows our actions are in line with our goals. We are working every day to be North Carolina’s dominant professional soccer team and to bring a NASL championship to the Triangle.”
Bravo was introduced to RailHawks fans at halftime of tonight’s West Ham United match. He will be made available to the media on Wednesday, July 13 at a press conference at WakeMed Soccer Park at 12:00 p.m.
A native of Los Mochis, in the state of Sinaloa, Mexico, Bravo began his storied career within the Chivas Guadalajara youth system. He made his professional debut with the Chivas senior team in February of 2001. Once promoted to the starting lineup, Bravo became an integral part of the club’s success, where he remained a starter for the team until a transfer was arranged with Spanish La Liga club Deportivo La Coruna in 2008. In his first stint with Chivas, Bravo amassed 101 goals in 258 appearances. After a few seasons with Deportivo and a brief loan to Mexican club Tigres UANL, Bravo returned to Chivas for the 2009-2010 season where he appeared in 32 games, tallying five goals.
Following his return to the Rojiblancos, the Mexican striker made the move to Major League Soccer when Sporting Kansas City announced his signing for the 2011 season. Although his time in the MLS lasted only one season, Bravo’s impressive play netted him 9 goals, which led to him being named the 2011 Latin Player of the Year. Bravo elected to return to Mexico in 2012 signing with Cruz Azul, and in 2013, after a short loan spell at Atlas, he returned to the club that gave him his professional start. The forward returned to top form, reaching a historical milestone. On August 12, 2015, Bravo scored a home goal that made him C.D. Chivas Guadalajara’s all-time top scorer. His 123 goals at the time, moved him past club legend Salvador Reyes into sole possession of being Chivas’ most prolific goal-scorer.
Bravo has also enjoyed huge success at the international level, appearing in 65 matches for the Mexican National Team, recording 15 goals and helping his team win CONCACAF Gold Cups in 2003 and 2009, as well as reach the final in 2007. He also appeared in the 2006 FIFA World Cup, scoring two goals in the group stage.
“He adds so much,” said RailHawks Head Coach Colin Clarke. “Obviously the first thing you look at is his goals and his goal scoring pattern. Wherever he’s been he has always been prolific. He’s a national team player, capped over 60 times. The other little intangibles are going to be his experience and having won championships and been through tough times and coming out the other side.”
“I am ecstatic to begin another challenge in my career,” Bravo said. “I am grateful for Colin [Clarke] for having confidence in me. I am coming to a league with a lot of tradition in the United States and it’s an honor for me to be a part of a league that has a rich tradition and had players such as Pelé, Beckenbauer, and Raul.”
The RailHawks travel to Fort Lauderdale on Saturday, July 16 to face the Strikers before returning home to host Miami FC on Friday, July 22 at WakeMed Soccer Park at 7:30 p.m.