CONCACAF Q&A: Andres Flores (New York Cosmos & El Salvador)

El Salvador international Andres Flores hopes to have a busy and productive summer, trying to help the New York Cosmos to a third successive North American Soccer League title and his country go deep in the CONCACAF Gold Cup. recently caught up to the 26-year-old midfielder.

How important is it for El Salvador to have a good Gold Cup?

It is very important because now that we are out of the qualifiers, the most important tournament we have in front of us is the Gold Cup. It is a big opportunity for us to prove ourselves that we're good enough to play these good teams, like Mexico; try to get to the next round and try to make a good tournament.

El Salvador’s opponents in Group C are Mexico, Jamaica and Curacao, what challenges do they pose?

I think we all have the same chances right now. We'll see during the tournament on how it goes and how the games are for us. We know we're not in the best moment right now, but we're going to have a couple of friendly games before the tournament. So, there is still time to improve and try to get our best until the first game comes.

Two your El Salvador teammates -- Irvin Herrera and Richard Menjivar – also play with you on the New York Cosmos. How much of a role did you have recruiting them?

I feel very happy for them to be here became I know they're very good guys and they're very good players, too. They add a lot of good quality to the team. They (New York Cosmos management) were trying to recruit them. They asked me how they were as a person, how they were as players, too. I just said good things about them because that's the truth.

What is the level of competition in the North American Soccer League?

I think the level is different now. The teams are stronger. They have brought very good players from other teams and from overseas, too. It's a very tough league. The rhythm and pace is very fast. It's not easy to play here.

Why do you think so many top flight Central American and Caribbean players are attracted to North American soccer leagues -- the NASL and MLS?

Well, I think the opportunities the two leagues are offering to the Central American and Caribbean players are very good. We don't have the good opportunities back home or in our countries. So, once we have the opportunities to come to the U.S., [we] come to represent these kind of clubs, like the Cosmos.

Would you like to play in MLS or in Europe someday?

I played in Europe in 2012 [Viborg FF in Denmark] and it was a very good experience. Anything that comes to get better in my career, it’s always welcome. I always try to improve.

What do you do away from the field?

Right now I am studying an MBA in sports management [with Real Madrid University in Spain]. I'm almost done with that. I think graduation is going to be in July. I have been doing that for a year now and it has been very interesting. It offers some very interesting classes with some very good teachers. I have enjoyed the courses and classes a lot. Other than that, I enjoy being with my friends, my teammates, movies.