HOUSTON – It has been a memorable stretch for Alberth Elis.
On June 13, the 21-year-old scored for Honduras in a 2-2 draw at Panama, a result that kept the Catrachos within three points of third place in the final round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Four days later, Elis struck again, netting in the Houston Dynamo’s 2-2 stalemate with the host LA Galaxy in Major League Soccer play. It was the former Olimpia standout’s sixth goal of the season and his first on the road.
Honduras and Houston Dynamo teammate Oscar Boniek Garcia is impressed by Elis’ development.
“The truth is that Alberth has improved a lot in regards to his technique,” Garcia told CONCACAF.com. “I think that he has great potential to continue growing.”
Saturday’s goal against the Galaxy happened in breathtaking fashion. Elis received a pass on the right flank from Garcia and sprinted past the defense, before firing home in the 74th minute.
Nicknamed “The Panther,” Elis has been stalking goalkeepers ever since he debuted for Olimpia in 2013. There has been a considerable uptick in the last 18 months, however, both at the international level and in MLS.
In addition to his six MLS goals, Elis – who joined Houston from Mexico’s Monterrey over the winter -- has tallied two goals in qualifying for Russia 2018 and notched two more in the 2016 Olympic Games.
Garcia, while getting a first-hand look on all fronts, credits Elis for being a pivotal playmaker both for La H and the Dynamo.
“He is a player that is helping us a lot with his speed and with his goals, as much in Houston as in the national team,” concluded Garcia.
Honduras and the Dynamo hope that there will be plenty of Panther sightings to come in the future.