According to an article that we came across on Diez.hn, New England Revolution striker Jerry Bengtson has officially confirmed to reporters that he did indeed leave Honduran National Team camp following a heated confrontation with head coach Luis Fernando Suarez.
As we mentioned last Friday, early reports were that Bengtson was upset over not being selected for the starting XI against Jamaica. After butting heads with Suarez about it, he opted to part ways with the rest of the team and head back to New England instead of travelling with his compatriots to Sandy, Utah to take on the United States this past Tuesday.
Our Spanish isn't great, but luckily we have some great friends, including our own Brendan Doherty, that were willing to help us translate the article. So, here's the gist of what Bengtson said about the situation:
"I never lost respect for coach Suárez, the only thing I told him was that it was better for him to give me my ticket to return to my team in the United States. But this is not because I wasn't a starter, it doesn't bother me to be a substitute, I always support my teammates... I don't regret anything; I do what I do because I know what I'm doing. I know that later on I will be with the national team again."
Bengtson's decision to return to "his team" in New England is of particular interest. Perhaps it points to a feeling of value with the Revs that he was not getting from Suarez and the national team. One might look deeper into the striker's comments and postulate that Bengtson's frustrations with his own scoring woes were exacerbated by Sanchez' lack of support whereas his club coach, Jay Heaps, has shown considerable patience and support this season as the Designated Player has struggled to find the back of the net since week 1.
The article goes on to say...
The problem was this; after the match against Costa Rica they threw all the blame for the match on me. Coach told me that I had not played poorly. After he told me that I would not play against Jamaica and told me: "Well, we're going to support your teammate who is here," but hoping that would give me an opportunity in the second half, maybe even 5 minutes. He did not give it to me and said; "this is for the loss against Costa Rica," Bengston began detailing.
Although is it painful to remember that moment, Jerry was angry because they blamed him for the 1-0 defeat to los Ticos. "He put all of the loss on me, as if I was playing alone and things are not like that. Things did not go well against Costa Rica, maybe I wasn't on a good level, but I always try to contribute to the national team.
The talk happened in the locker room after the victory over the Jamaicans. "I noticed that he [Suárez] y he had a serious expression, so I said to him; "Coach, give me mi ticket and I'll leave. Maybe I should have stayed quiet, I should not have done anything at all, but it was a moment of passion/anger, but I did it and I don't regret it, the things have already happened."
So, there you have it. At least now we have Bengtson's side of the story. What this might spell for his immediate future, no one can really say. One this is for sure, though: If Jerry can't break his scoring duck soon, it might not be just his national team that he's parting ways with.