Good news was in short supply for Colorado Rapids fans in 2012, but 2013 has started better with the news from DSG Park today.
The club has re-signed former Wigan Athletic star Hendry Thomas to a new contract.
The Honduran made a belated cameo for the 2010 MLS Champions last year in their last eight games, but it was too late to save their season from mediocrity and sneak past Vancouver into the Play-offs.
However, he made an impact and with a full season in front of him could turn out to be one of the impact players in the Western Conference.
He was happy to be back according to a club press release:
“I’m very happy here in Colorado, and pleased that we were able to come to an agreement for me to stay with the Rapids.
I’m grateful to the coaching staff, my teammates, and the fans for the support they have given me since I arrived. Now we’ll continue working and improving this season so we can be part of the playoffs at the end of the year.”
Thomas is a hard tackling defensive midfielder who plays centrally. His strength is the timing of his tackle, rather than the bite, and this contributed to the accumulation of just one yellow card in his eight match stint in MLS last season.
His competition for a starting place will be tough with two grizzled veterans of the league Pablo Mastroeni and Jeff Larentowicz already on the books at DSG. That depth might however be necessary.
When he arrived last October, Thomas stated his hope that more regular playing time in MLS would help relaunch his international career in Luis Fernando Suárez’s Honduras side.
They play a February World Cup qualifier against the USA and two more in March against Mexico and Panama. There are seven further throughout the MLS season in a Hexagonal group that also includes Jamaica, Costa Rica and Panama.
Regular playing time was in short supply in the EPL and Thomas hopes the likelihood of more starts can help.
His country also hope to be present at the Gold Cup finals which will run for three weeks in July. They play a series of qualifiers through January starting on the 18th against El Salvador.
Thomas made just short of 50 EPL appearances for Wigan, the club incidentally where former Sporting Kansas City star Roger Espinoza has just began the latest stage of his career.
Rest of Rapids Press Release:
The Colorado Rapids announced on Monday that the club has re-signed midfielder Hendry Thomas, who joined the Rapids in August of 2012 and played in the team’s final eight games of the season, to a new contract. Per league and team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Thomas, 27, signed with the Rapids on August 21, 2012, and made his MLS debut 10 days later at the Portland Timbers. He played the team’s final eight matches, playing the full 90 minutes in seven, and establishing himself as a presence in central midfield.
A native of La Ceiba, Honduras, Thomas came to Colorado after three seasons in the English Premier League with Wigan Athletic, where he played under manager Roberto Martinez. He played 49 Premier League matches, and made several appearances in FA Cup and Carling Cup action. Thomas began his career with Club Deportivo Olimpia of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, winning seven championships in eight years and 16 tournaments with the club (the Honduran league has two seasons per calendar year).
With the Honduran National Team, Thomas has been a fixture at marquee tournaments, playing in two matches at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and captaining Honduras as one of three over-age players at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. He was in the Honduran squad for the last four CONCACAF Gold Cups, the biennial championship tournament for North America, Central America and the Caribbean.
The Rapids will start preseason on January 17, and are set to participate in the Desert Friendlies presented by Tucson FC and the Las Vegas ProSoccer Challenge against Chivas USA on February 15 as part of their preparations. To purchase season tickets for the Rapids’ 2013 campaign, visit www.ColoradoRapids.com or call 303-825-GOAL.
TRANSACTION: Rapids re-sign midfielder Hendry Thomas to a new contract on January 7, 2013.
Full Name: Hendry Bernardo Thomas Suazo
Born: February 23, 1985
Hometown: La Ceiba, Honduras
Weight: 175 lbs
Previous Club: Wigan Athletic (ENG)
Acquired: Signed as an International Player by the Colorado Rapids on Tuesday, August 21, 2012