With the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup set to launch in slightly more than a week, CONCACAF.com will profile one player from each of the 12 teams every day until the opener on July 7 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.
With Haiti needing only to avoid a loss by two goals to host Nicaragua in the second leg of their 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup qualifying playoff, Juan Barrera happened.
The 28-year-old attacker scored three goals in the last eight minutes as the Nicaraguans earned a dramatic 3-0 win over the visiting Caribbean power and progressed in stunning fashion on a 4-3 aggregate triumph.
In Nicaragua’s only previous Gold Cup appearance in 2009, Barrera entered as a second-half substitute three times.
Of historical note, in 2015, he became the first Nicaraguan to play in Europe, making two appearances in both the domestic league and the UEFA Europa League for Austria’s Rheindorf Altach.
At the club level, Barrera has also played for Real Esteli and Walter Ferretti (both Nicaragua), Tauro FC (Panama) and currently with Comunicaciones (Guatemala).
With Nicaragua, he has scored in two different editions of the Copa Centroamericana (2009 v Belize, 2017 v Belize) and has netted two goals in World Cup Qualifying (2015: 2 v Anguilla).